There's a Disturbing Hidden Message in This Viral Ad About Teenage Love

Can you figure it out?

YouTube

This incredible ad is going viral—and once you watch it, it's clear why. At first, it seems like a sweet story of high school romance, but the true story is much darker and much less obvious.

The clip, called "Evan," opens with the title character—a teenage kid who is bored at school and longing for summer break.

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"I am bored," he carves into the wooden surface of a library table.

The next day, Evan returns to find a response left for him on the same library table.

"Hi Bored, nice to meet you," it reads, written neatly in black ink just below his original etching.

This library table correspondence continues as Evan and his mystery pen pal write back and forth flirtatiously. A blossoming crush, perhaps?

Evan walks the halls of his school, scanning the throng of students in search of his anonymous new friend. Is it the brunette girl who sits next to him in science class? Or one of those girls he just saw in the cafeteria?

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Finally, the school year comes to a close and just when you think Evan will never find out who he's been writing to, a yearbook note brings them together for what seems like a happy ending. Except it's not a happy ending, and this whole ad hasn't been about Evan and his high school romance at all.

Watch the clip below to see for yourself:

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It's mind-blowing and disturbing once you're made aware of all that you missed the first time around—and that's exactly the point.

The ad was created by the agency BBDO New York for Sandy Hook Promise, an organization created by family members of those who lost their lives in the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that happened in Newton, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

"When you don't know what to look for, or can't recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences," said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. "It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence—these acts are preventable when you know the signs."

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To learn more about Sandy Hook Promise's mission and what warning signs can be earlier indicators of potential violent behavior, visit sandyhookpromise.org.

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