Todd Selby Lets the Kids Run Free - Safely
Kids say the darndest things. And they do the darndest things too. Kids have a way of getting their hands on whatever it is you’re trying to hide, whether it’s a box of cookies, a box of tampons, or the family firearm. Their curious nature is inherent, and to make sure they don’t meet the same fate as the curious cat, we have to protect them as best we can. Todd Selby teamed up with Evolve on a series of PSAs that brought that message home with as much hilarity and good will as they could.
Leading with the copy “If they find it, they’ll play with it,” Todd and Evolve riffed on the idea that kids will find a way to play with whatever’s in arm’s reach. Juxtaposing the innocent nature of children and the inappropriate things they can find, the set-ups revealed the potential comedy of these situations. “It was funny, the kids just took the stuff and went on their own which was funny because they don’t have the same connotation as we do with certain things,” explains Todd. His favorite moment was when one of the kids took a pair of fuzzy handcuffs and attached them to the neck of a dinosaur as a leash. “We were just laughing so much,” Todd says. “It was hard to keep it serious. Just trying not to lose it laughing.”
The serious nature of the PSAs get a welcome counter from the energy that the kids brought to it. To ensure that the photos communicated authentic lightness, Todd gave them a lot of room to actually play. “We set up the scenarios generally, and then the kids got in there and did their thing which was really fun,” explains Todd. Then he gave them plenty of time to explore and enjoy themselves, finding games with the objects, and photographing the discoveries as they made them. Of course, in this closed environment, with direction and chosen items, the kids were totally safe. But the photos highlight the larger issue of familial safety at the heart of the campaign. If a young boy can do a very good Wolverine impression with a box of tampons, finding a firearm could have results that aren’t funny at all. The message is communicated effectively through disarming humor, thanks to the kids' innocence, which is exactly what they're trying to protect.