Drowning Is a Silent Death, Illustrated by a Rock Band Performing Underwater

If you can't hear loud music underwater, you won't hear a child drowning

Drowning is often a silent, rapid way to die, without the splashing and screaming we're accustomed to seeing in Hollywood movies and TV shows. So, Havas Portugal created a PSA for APSI (The Association for the Promotion of Child Safety) to depict how hauntingly noiseless drowning can be.

The organization placed an unabashedly loud heavy metal band underwater and let them scream and play their hearts out. Submerged drums, guitars and vocals must still make plenty of noise, right?

In fact, that's not the case. When the camera pans to the top of the pool and surrounding patio, it's eerily quiet. The ad closes with the line, "Death by drowning is silent. Protect your children."

APSI | Heavy Silence

We spoke with Bernardo Tavares, senior copywriter at Havas Portugal, about making noise about silent, preventable deaths.

Muse: How did you come up with the campaign concept?

Tavares: APSI always talks about three main characteristics of drowning—it’s quick, it's silent and it can happen in a small amount of water. People usually relate drownings with what they see in movies, like people yelling for help while drowning slowly, but APSI warns to not expect to hear any noise, because children do not make noise while thrashing around in the waters, they simply drown in complete silence.

So we thought it was a good idea to make use of something that makes a lot of noise, a heavy metal band, without making any noise, to draw people's attention to this specific characteristic of kid drownings. 

How many takes did it take to film the underwater scenes?

They had to dive more than 200 times. The cast was very important. These three guys aren't rockers. They are amateur musicians, they look like rockstars, but their most important characteristic was that they could hold their breath for two minutes. Two of them are divers and one is a bodyboarder who used to surf big waves at Narazé—the biggest wave in the world—but even with this amazing skill, in the end the time we had for the takes was too short because everybody was too tired to dive in a four meter-deep pool to play instruments and scream. 


Agency: Havas Worldwide Portugal
ECD: Paulo Pinto
Creative Director: José Vieira
Senior Art Director: Sávio Hatherly
Senior Copywriter: Bernardo Tavares
Client Services Director: Sérgio Resende
Junior Account: José Cerdeira
Trainee Account: António Barreto

Client: APSI
President: Sandra Nascimento
Communication and Institutional Relations: Rosa Afonso
Production Company: Garage
Director: Enrique Escamilla
Executive Producer: Miguel Varela, Cláudia Costa
Production Director: Celina Morais
Casting Director: Ricardo Moura
Post-production coordinator: Bia Pereira
Editor: André Adam
Assistant Director: Nuno Dray
Casting: Miguel Coelho, Antonio Alvim, Svend Jensen
Grade: Lightfilm
Online: Ingreme
Music: Fred Ferreira
Mix Sound: Dizplay
Free Divers: Mafalda, Mario
Divers: Cipreia - Tiziana, Pedro Carona, Mariana, Paulo Campos
Production Assistants: Paulo Buisel, Miguel Varela Jr

Media Agency: Havas Sports & Entertainment Portugal
Managing and Creative Partner: Ana Torres
Senior Content Project Manager: Francisco Ladeira
Strategic Consulting Manager: Frederico Caetano
Chief Investment Officer: Vitor Dourado
Negotiation Manager: Paulo Santos

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