Ad of the Day: Gorgeous, Heartbreaking PSA Imagines If Kids Could Choose Their Parents

Would they choose you?

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Remember Finland's horrifying "Monsters" PSA from a couple of years ago, where grownups were shown literally as frightening beasts, because that's how kids see abusively drunken parents?

The same children's charity and ad agency—Fragile Childhood, and Havas Worldwide Helsinki—are now back with a follow-up alcohol awareness spot that's just as heartbreaking, though with less of an explicit horror-movie vibe.

The new PSA—which really is incredibly shot, with amazing set design and art direction—imagines a world where orphanages are reversed. Parents are the orphans, and children visit them to pick out who they'd like to take home.

Though, of course, in real life they can't.

The concept is maybe a bit muddled—using an orphanage theme obviously brings to mind issues of adoption first, not alcohol use. But it's a visually outstanding piece nonetheless. While less overtly nightmarish than the earlier ad, there's an extremely unsettling vibe underneath the beauty here. And according to the advertiser, there's a good reason for that.

"It is still not widely understood how much harm drinking problems at home cause to children," Fragile Childhood says. "For example, previous research has shown that every fourth Finnish child has suffered some harm because of parent's alcohol usage. Research carried out among Finnish teenagers aged 12-18 years shows that children think their parents ought not to drink at home and that they are much nicer when sober."


Client: Fragile Childhood

Agency: Havas Worldwide, Helsinki

Production Company: Sauna International

Production Company: Studio Arkadena

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.