These College Acceptance Letters Contain a Shocking Surprise

Film by Goodby Silverstein & Prettybird Raises Awareness of Campus Assault

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Apr 19, 2016

Editor's Pick

Posting college acceptance letters on social media is popular among today's teens, but anyone viewing this one is in for a nasty surprise.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and directors Ben and Alex Brewer at Prettybird created the film to raise awareness of the number of assaults on college campus -- according to one survey, one in five women will be assaulted at college.

Filmed on iPhones to add authenticity, the PSA shows excited students opening their letters of acceptance and reading them out. Only, the contents are not what you might expect -- the wording lays out starkly that they can look forward to getting assaulted and seeing pretty much no sympathy from the college authorities. The final message is, if a college accepts you, then don't accept this from them.

The letters are aimed at encouraging students to demand accountability from their colleges by asking them to sign a petition, promoted with the hashtag #DontAcceptRape. The campaign launched on the weekend with print ads in the Harvard Crimson and USA Today, and the video is running online.

Inspiration for the campaign came from GS&P's executive creative director Margaret Johnson and Prettybird cofounder and president Kerstin Emhoff's involvement with "The Hunting Ground," a documentary that exposed the rape epidemic on college campuses. The film featured Johnson's alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Apr 19, 2016
Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Unacceptable Acceptance Letters
Jeff Goodby
Rich Silverstein
Partner, Executive Creative Director:
Margaret Johnson
Creative Team:
Laura Petruccelli
Creative Team:
Rohan Cooke
Todd King
Director of Broadcast Production:
Tod Puckett
Executive Broadcast Producer:
Hilary Coate
Director of Graphic Services:
Jim King
Associate Technology Director:
Andre Cardozo
Quinn Gravier
Quinn Gravier
Ward Robinson
Account Director:
Cassi Norman
Director of Brand Strategy:
Bonnie Wan
Director of Communications:
Meredith Vellines
Senior Commuications Strategist:
Caitlin Neelon
Business Affairs Manager:
Heidi Killeen
Production Company:
Pretty Bird
Executive Producer:
Kerstin Emhoff
Executive Producer:
Suzanne Hargrove
Associate Producer:
Nick Miller
Nathan Scherrer
Brewer (Ben & Alex)
Editorial Company:
Cut + Run
Executive Producer:
Deanne Mehling
Christopher Kasper
Finish Company:
Spy Post
Executive Producer:
Lori Joseph
Chris Martin
Music Company:
Music Composer:
David Gold
Mix Company:
One Union
End Treatment Graphics Company:

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