In the lead up to this weekend’s March For Our Lives, a massive national rally for gun reform, a mock startup called Bulletproof Junior trolled everyone into thinking they were selling bulletproof vests for kids. Why? To illustrate that there might be real demand for that product and point out the unacceptable nature of that situation. And also, as it turns out, to remind people to contact their representatives in Washington.
Creatives from various New York and Los Angeles based advertising firms came together to build the mock website. When site visitors click the “Our Story” tab, Bulletproof Junior cheekily writes about how in the face of US politicians treating school shootings like they’re “an American standard.” The fake company is described as an attempt to “turn a lack of action into a mass-produced, style-oriented, reaction.”
The vest come in sizes suitable toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers (not really). And each has a bone-chilling feature. The toddler vest “plays nursery rhymes to soothe your child’s pounding heart rate” (not really). The pre-teen one glows in the dark (not really). The teen one comes with Bluetooth speakers (not really). Each of the designs is fully replaceable “If shot within first two months of purchase” (again, not really).
“Kids don’t need bulletproof vests,” reads the site’s disclaimer. “They need voters demanding change.”
The site isn’t just a gag or means for some group of arty-folks to try and change your heart or introduce you to a problem. The site is an invitation to participate in the political process and try and to people. Once a visitor enters his or her zip code, they are prompted to tweet at their Senator, register to vote, give blood, or donate to March For Our Lives.