This Disconcerting Ad Argues That Toys Would Be Less Regulated If They Were Also Guns

FCB Chicago creates a 'tragically ironic symbol'

What if teddy bears had the same safety regulations as guns? FCB Chicago, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
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Everyone knows that teddy bears aren’t as dangerous as firearms. But these classic toys have to satisfy a wide range of safety standards before they make their way into a store, much less a child’s hands. Guns, on the other hand, face few such requirements.

That’s the premise behind a new ad created by FCB Chicago for the nonprofit Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

Meet “Teddy Gun.” He’s not as pure as he might seem on first glance.

So why is the act of producing a simple teddy bear so much more complicated than that of making a deadly weapon?

“The Teddy Gun is a profound yet tragically ironic symbol of the absence of government regulations of one of the most dangerous consumer products,” said council executive director Colleen Daley in a statement. “Our goal with Teddy Gun is to raise awareness and encourage elected officials to support measures that can and will save lives.”

The point, then, is that Teddy Gun wouldn’t have to meet so many requirements if his primary function were that of a weapon rather than a toy. And while “key functional elements have intentionally been omitted” to ensure that Teddy will never fire any bullets, the contrast remains striking.

Agency and client have worked together before on projects like 2015’s “The Unforgotten,” which looked to further humanize the victims of gun violence by re-purposing some of the clothes they wore when they were shot.

While new gun control legislation is unlikely to become law in the current American political climate, this potentially lethal teddy bear does serve as a powerful symbol of the double standard applied to firearms.


Agency: FCB Chicago
Liz Taylor: Chief Creative Officer
Max Geraldo: SVP, Executive Creative Director
Bruno Mazzotti: Creative Director
Dean Paradise: Creative Director
Gustavo Dorietto: Creative Director
John Bleeden: SVP, Executive Creative Producer
Lindsay Tyler: Executive Integrated Producer
Ben Flaherty: SVP, Creative Director
Roman Mendez: Director, Motion Design
Ky Anderson: Account Supervisor
Katie Roach: Executive Producer
Steve Immer: Senior Editor
Michael Chesta: Sr. Manager Digital Development
John Skibicki: Lead Developer
Morgan Bates: Sr. Developer
Erik Christianson: Tech Lead
Derek Tucker: Business Analyst
Mamo Arima: Sr. Project Manager
Greg Olsen: Sr. Retoucher
Scott Wulf: Sr. Retoucher
Mike Norgard: Social Manager

Eduardo Borges: 3D Artist, Lauré Studio
Hero Solutions: Fabricator
Alexis Valenti: VP, Current Lifestyle Marketing and Public Relations
Virginia Devlin: President, Current Lifestyle Marketing and Public Relations
Colleen Daley: Executive Director, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: March 31, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT