Save the Children Amplifies 'The Sound of Violence' in Hong Kong

Immersive cinema spot from Cheil Worldwide

Sometimes, to break through audience malaise, sonic design and unexpected elements can trump graphic imagery and overwrought realism.

Case in point: Cheil Worldwide's "The Sound of Violence," an artfully jarring :60 created for Save the Children Hong Kong.

It's assaultive, but atypical for the category. 

We watch marbles and pencil boxes crash to the floor; shattered toys and shards of glass fall like hail or rain.

Highly stylized, these images of a wrecked childhood flash across the screen as screams and weird feedback—like whining amplifiers—rock viewers' eardrums.

Save the Children | The Sound of Violence

Abstract, to say the least. But potent, especially when deployed in immersive Dolby Surround Sound before showings of Nick Cheuk's acclaimed Time Still Turns the Pages, which deals with family abuse and trauma.

"The sound of violence is all around you," the ad says in the end. "If you hear it, don't ignore it."

That message resonated loud and clear, generating considerable attention in local media. Per Cheil, this spurred a 25 percent increase in reports of suspected violence and a 16 percent boost in home interventions.

"Some in the audience may have already experienced such misfortune and can empathize—others may not have experienced it, but can now be more attentive to the issue," Cheuk says. "That's a good thing. No one deserves to be treated this way."

"I appreciate everyone involved in supporting children and never imagined such a thing could be done at the beginning of a film. We should not hesitate to express our concern, regardless of the outcome."

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