Shocking ‘Second a Day’ Video Delivers a Powerful Anti-War Message

“Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” That’s the tagline of one of the most powerful, shocking ad campaign we have ever run across.

Put together by Save the Children UK, this campaign uses the popular ‘second per day video’ lifelogging concept to drive home an anti-war message in the most stark and unsettling way, focusing on how war affects children.

The video begins and ends with a child celebrating her birthday, once before and once after war tears through London leaving her life and psyche in tatters.

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Released just as Syria is about to reach the three-year anniversary of the conflict there, Save the Children wants to drive the point home that, right now, 10,000 children have died and over 2 million are refugees because of what war has done to that nation.

“We hope the video will resonate with members of the public, particularly those who don’t know much about the situation in Syria so they can really understand the plight of innocent Syrian children.” Director of Brand and Communications at Save The Children, Jake Lundi, told The Independent. “The message to the public is just because it’s not happening here, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

Watch the video for yourself at the top, and if you’d like to find out more or help Save the Children’s cause, you can visit their website by clicking here.

  • Richard Horsfield

    Powerful stuff, excellent concept that should be shown to the Leaders of these Countries that want war, rather than the ordinary people who have no choice.

  • YOGIx213

    Powerful, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Definitely drives the point home.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Powerful message delivered there.

  • Chillywilson

    they should do another one but from the other side of a child being indoctrinated to fight a war. Maybe merge a scene where it was another kid who sent a mortar over to the first kid.

  • Jackson Cheese


  • Christian Fredrickson

    Citizens absolutely have the choice. They’ve merely chosen to surrender their power in favor of reality TV and video games, because research and stepping up are just too much work.

  • Mansgame (encarnate)

    OK, I’ll be that guy and say it. It’s powerful because the kid is white. This sort o thing already is happening to lots of brown kids but nobody cares. Look at Syria. Anybody care? Nah. But put a cute white kid in a cute white family, doing cute white suburbia things and woah! THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ME!! SO POWERFUL!

  • Sean Mason

    Powerful and well done. To me this isn’t anti war so much as it is anticomplacency.

    War is terrible. Everyone agrees. We don’t need to drive that message home. What we do need is for regular people to care more about what is happening in the world.

    “All it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing” -Edmund Burke

    I personally believe that the best way to achieve peace is to deter war with strength. You don’t get rid of the bully in the playground by telling on him. You stop him by standing up for yourself. It’s the credible threat of a punch in the nose that keeps the bully away.

    This is evident even in Ukraine. In 1994, Bill Clinton along with the UK disarmed Ukraine and agreed to protect them if Russia ever tried to invade. Russia agreed to not invade.

    Ukraine democratically elected a terrible government that overreached their powers. The people have revolted and have attempted to overthrown their government. The government retaliated against their own people. Chaos ensued and a void of authority has been created. Russia has now invaded them to fill that void. Russia knows that Ukraine can’t do anything and the rest of the world won’t do anything. Canceling summits and making speeches in elementary schools doesn’t do it.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    And brown folks such as myself should somehow be unable to empathize with the white kid in the video?

  • Graham Marley

    Check out Samantha Power’s book “A Problem From Hell.” The West’s history of responding to brutality in other parts of the world is amazingly pitiful.

  • Sean Mason

    This is incredibly sophomoric. The people that start wars… people like Hitler, Mao Zedong, Stalin. They murder and execute people in person. A video like this would have no effect on someone like that.

    There are bad people in the world. They want power and are willing to kill to get it. These people cannot be reasoned with, negotiated with, or appeased. Like any other bully out there, you have no choice but to stand up to them.

    If this video helps motivate ordinary people to have the will to back their political leaders to stand up to bad people, then there would be a lot less of this going on.

  • daven

    Yes, maybe it is more powerful because the clip shows a white kid. And also because it happens in an environment that is more familiar. And that the kid looks really cute might help as well (we are all racists in a way, that doesn’t mean we have to act out our racism once we become aware of it)
    In the end the message of the clip to me is that all of the things mentioned above don’t matter. It is not cruel because the girl is white, cute, middle class but because it is a kid.

  • Stephen

    “Look at Syria. Anybody care?” …I think you may have missed the point of the video, fella.

  • Rob S

    People choose their leaders in most countries.
    Soldiers certainly dont choose war. If we let the soldiers choose, there would be far less war.

  • Rob S

    I think its the change from a happy birthday that is truly happy to one where you know exactly what her wish is for – an end to the madness.

    I think you could put any kid in there and the transition from “normal” to madness would have the same impact.

    And if you go to Syria you will find plenty of kids just as “white” as this girl.

  • Rob S

    “War is terrible. Everyone agrees” – um…Ill dispute that.
    I find a lot of people who dont have to fight wars are all for them. I find very few who have actually been IN a war are fans of warfare.

  • Steve Zimmerman

    I emphatically disagree with the race argument here. If you’re a parent any video or picture showing a child bearing emotional or physical stress caused by the ‘adults’ is (or should be) painful. I have never looked at a picture of a child suffering and thought, “oh well, he’s just a black kid, it happens.” And it doesn’t sound like you think that either, but the point is we have an obligation to ALL the children. Even if it’s just explaining to your own child that there are others that need help and finding ways for them to follow through. There may well be something to the argument that it’s more impactful due to the similar lifestyle, and I’d say that it’s part of covering the entire spectrum of experience. This happens everywhere, and we’ve no one left to blame but ourselves. MYself. I’m not exempt from this.

  • Stan B.

    Not at all, but if you’re a “brown” person, you should know that there are many children of color being shot daily in the ghettos of every major (and not so major) city in the US (and elsewhere), in what pretty much amounts to a war zone- and nobody gives a Flyin’ F.

    Because… they’re not White.

  • superduckz

    This is a reminder to me that civilization is a learned behavior. This excellent and imaginative video impacts those of us (who are civilized) emotionally and motivates us to speak out…. to DO… something. But you will not bring that emotion to those who are not civilized, those who look at the terror and see a tool to achieve an objective. They will see this video as almost a goal. A dream even. To see their enemies cowering and fleeing. Perhaps subjugated. Probably dead.

    But I doubt that the safest and most cocooned, most “civilized” among us can really reconcile or internalize that. Our makeups are so different that many of us can’t or wont acknowledge that the “other” side has no intention of joining us in the “civilized world”. The paths they are on forked away too long ago for too many millions of big and little reasons to ever hope to turn back. Occasionally all you can hope to do is to “win” (for lack of a better word) and pray you don’t unravel and lose yourselves along the way.

  • Jared Skye

    Actually it’s because they’re poor.

  • Sean Mason

    Well said

  • troglodyte

    As has been said, “It is good that war is so terrible, lest we become fond of it”.

    Or words to that effect.

  • Rob S

    Yeah no. There is NO PLACE in the US that is “like a war zone.” NONE. ZERO. You know that is “like a war zone”? A war zone. Even the worst day in the worst part of the worst city in the US would seem like a vacation spot compared to a war zone.

  • Stan B.

    Tell that to those in neighborhoods who go to sleep with gunshots firing every night, tell that to those in neighborhoods where it’s easier to get a gun, than a fresh vegetable.

  • Stan B.

    Uh-huh… and we all know that economic, educational, and housing opportunities for Whites and non Whites are equal.

  • A.J.

    Inner city blacks & rural whites both deal with the same lack of opportunities & education.

  • Stan B.

    Except that Whites don’t have to deal with the added burden of institutionalized racism.

  • ikea

    Soldiers choose to be soldiers. Let us all think about what the purpose of a soldier is for a second here..

    On one hand you’re saying that people choose their leaders, which seems to imply that they are responsible for war, yet soldiers cannot choose anything? What?

    And this is why war exists. Simple cowardice. The inability to stand up to authority figures and the fetishization of “duty”. Hitler was only one man. Stalin was only one man. Sure they had their cronies but they were still outnumbered by regular people. Average people who bent to whoever was “above” them. Average people are like zebras being preyed upon by lions. If the zebras banded together they could stamp out every last lion easily, but it never happens, does it? The zebra runs where the lion chases it, the soldier fights who his superiors order…

  • Rob S

    Actually not. All volunteer armies are very recent and a significant portion of the world retains conscription. It is no accident that conflict and conscription go hand and hand. Look where there is conscription and you will find conflict. In addition to state sponsored conscription there is defacto conscription in the form of people forced to fight by local strongmen/warlords.

    Hitler and Stalin were wildly popular. The people CHOOSE them. And both relied on conscription on a grand scale. Try learning history before attempting to make a point with history.

    Of course soldiers fight who they are ordered to fight. But they do not choose the fight. Their leaders – chosen by the people – choose the fight. Soldiers are an instrument of war and just like the violin requires sheet music, a violinist and a conductor to make music, soldiers require leaders with plans and nations backing them to conduct war.

  • Rob S

    Tell my Afghan friends that what is going on in any US city is “just like what you are going through.” They would gladly trade places with ANYONE in the US.

  • Stan B.

    Yes, I’m glad each and every one would be more than happy to travel thousand of miles to trade places with ANYONE shot dead in an inner city in the US.

  • ikea

    I’m glad you replied and we can have our little discussion in a probably already forgotten corner of the internet :)

    Conscription or voluntary – not much difference. Choice is still involved in every action an individual takes. So if the government/ a warlord drafts you, you have NO CHOICE but to fight? I don’t think so. There are plenty of other options – escape, resistance, etc. Fighting for a tyrannical, corrupt system because of the fear of punishment is just what I said before; cowardice. Look for where there is cowardice and you will find conflict… the person who fights for a tyrant out of fear of the tyrant is a coward. That is all conscription is, people allowing themselves to be “forced” into service out of fear of punishment.

    As for Hitler and Stalin, maybe they were popular at some points. Funny how if they were wildly popular, that they would have to rely on conscription on a grand scale. Prreeeeettty sure they were wildly unpopular at times as well.

    As for the violin analogy – A violin is a piece of wood. A human can actually act of their own accord (supposedly).

  • Rob S

    LOL. Tell you what, you go try “escape, resistance, etc.” I would say that you would become a martyr for the cause but you would be shot so quickly no one would ever know. You are confusing the kindlier gentler version of conscription of western countries for the harsh reality of the rest of the world.

  • ikea

    You’re reinforcing what I’ve said previously – that a lot of people would rather submit and have some short lived “security” (and probably end up being executed/dying later in battle for a tyrant anyway) than risk death and try to do the right thing. Is trying to flee or resist really that ridiculous? Do refugees not exist? Do resistance movements not exist? Do deserters not exist?

    If you lived under some tyrannical (or just normal) government who came knocking at your door to murder for them “or else”, would you roll over and say “Yessir!”? Do you think this attitude is conducive towards peace in the world?