Parents’ worst nightmares come to life in children’s safety PSA, ‘The Horse’
The film, released by the Canadian Center for Child Protection, urges parents to demand for the protection of children’s online safety.
According to 2021 research from WeProtect, 29% of children have been sent sexually explicit content online.
To spread awareness of this issue, the Canadian Center for Child Protection (C3P), a national charity dedicated to the personal safety of all children, released on Tuesday a haunting PSA that brings every parent’s fear to life: ‘The Horse.’
The short film employs a Trojan horse metaphor to delve into a sensitive subject. It illustrates how, much like the wooden horse that breached the gates of Troy, predators can infiltrate a child’s life through social platforms.
The work aims to galvanize parents to demand legislative action for children’s online safety, as instances of online child sexual violence has surged 815% in the last five years, per 2022 data from Cybertip.ca.
“We’re handing kids technology that is being weaponized against them by predators, and there are no laws in place to keep them safe the same way we protect kids offline,” said Lianna McDonald, executive director of C3P. “We need all Canadians – especially parents – calling on the government to regulate the platforms that are letting offenders right into our children’s bedrooms.”
The entire 60-second spot is filmed in one continuous shot down a hallway, set in a home that could belong to anyone. It was directed by Meredith Hama-Brown, who recently was awarded the Fipresci Prize at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) for her film, ‘Seagrass.’
Creative agency, No Fixed Address Inc., led the creative work. “We set out to capture the scenario that keeps every parent up at night,” says Alexis Bronstorph, chief creative officer at No Fixed Address. “And The Horse is a chilling reminder that it’s real and it’s happening.”
Concerned citizens are encouraged to spread the awareness by viewing and sharing the PSA at protectchildren.ca/TheHorse, and make a difference by taking a short survey on what they think should be done to protect children online.
The awareness campaign will run in movie theaters, major dailies and online platforms. The initiative is backed by several of C3P’s global partners including 5Rights Foundation, Fairplay, ECPAT Sweden, Suojellaan Lapsi, Innocence in Danger Germany and The Marie Collins Foundation.
Agency: No Fixed Address Inc.
Production: Animals TV
Editorial: Saints Editorial
Transfer/Online house: Darling VFX
Audio: Berkeley Inc.