Back in September, Mekanism rolled out its “It’s On Us” sexual assault awareness PSA for the United States government, enlisting the help of celebrities (including actor Jon Hamm), along with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, to deliver its message.
Now, the agency is rolling out phase two of the campaign, again calling on bystanders to help prevent sexual assault. While the initial effort relied on its star power, this time around Mekanism instead attempts to put the viewer in a realistic situation. At a drunken house party, a female guest attempts to leave, only to have her exit blocked by an aggressive guy asking, “Oh no, you’re not leaving are you? Why do you want to go home?” as another guy sits on the couch with a drink. “This isn’t a PSA about sexual assault,” says the voiceover, “it’s about being the guy who stops it.” The spot ends with the guy getting up from the couch to come to the girl’s aide, followed by the message “It’s on us to stop sexual assault” and directing viewers to ItsOnUs.org.
While lacking the visibility of its predecessor, the spot communicates its message well. By focusing on the guy on his couch just having a drink at a party as an uncomfortable situation unfolds, it puts the viewer in his position, the idea being that viewers in a similar situation will know that it’s time to act rather than simply doing nothing — to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. Its released is timed in anticipation of next week’s “National Week of Action” at colleges and universities across the country, a push to get students involved with “It’s On Us.” Read more