The National Rifle Association (NRA) spends $250 million annually to advocate for pro-gun legislation. How do you fight for common sense gun laws while facing such a powerful Goliath? One idea was to hold a graduation ceremony for ‘The Lost Class’, the 3,044 students who would have graduated this year if they hadn’t been killed by a gun.

Two well-known gun advocates then gave the commencement address to the 3,044 empty chairs representing these lost students, ultimately turning pro-gun advocates into anti-gun spokespeople. It’s time we pass universal background checks, so we can protect our students and make sure more of them make it to their graduation day.

By donating to Change The Ref, you’re helping in the fight against the gun violence epidemic. Change The Ref uses the funds raised to keep applying pressure to our politicians and policymakers through creativity, creating more campaigns like ‘The Lost Class’. Together, we can change the perception of guns in America and inspire change that will keep the futures of our students safe from guns.



This campaign has been awarded at the following major festivals:

  • ADC 2022: Black Cube 2022, Advertising Grand Prix, Interactive Grand Prix.
  • D&AD 2022: Black Pencil in Branding (Tactical), Black Pencil in Direct (Film), 1 Gold in Spatial Design (Installations), 1 Gold in Integrated (Content Led Campaigns), 1 Gold in PR (Events & Stunts), 1 Gold in Film (Health & Wellbeing), 1 Silver in Direction (Film), 1 Silver in Film (Social Commercials Over 30 Seconds), 1 Silver in PR (Use of Media Relations), 1 Silver in Film (Social Commercial Campaigns), 1 Bronze in Integrated (Health & Wellbeing), 1 Bronze in Impact (Advertising).
  • One Show 2022: Creative Use of Data Grand Prix, Experiential & Immersive Grand Prix, Out of Home Grand Prix.



Client: Change The Ref, USA. Co-Founder: Manuel Oliver, Patricia Oliver. Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago. Production Company: Hungry Man, Los Angeles. Illustrator: Sean Hannaway. Design Director: Kyle Poff. Associate Creative Director: Jason  LaFlore , Matt Turnier , Ceara Adamson. Copywriter: MacKenzie  Hart. Art Director: Sofia Gahn . Junior Copywriter: Kelley Barrett . Junior Art Director: Katie DiNardo . Head of Production: Mike Davidson . Executive Producer: Ashley  Geisheker , Caleb Dewart, Mino Jarjoura, Adrianne  McCurrach , Corina Dennison, Thatcher Peterson , Leslie Dilullo, Ceara Adamson. Associate Film Producer: Kaitlin Bucaro . Operations Director: Michael Shanahan . Production Manager: Julie Lewandowski . Account Director: Amy Walloch . Head of Planning: Kaylin Goldstein . Strategy Director: Nimisha Jain . Resource Manager: Nancy Parnell , Phoebe Alvarez . Strategist: Sean Logan. Director: Bryan Buckley. Producer: Matt Lefebvre, Jordan Cohen, Meg Amicucci, Jenny Bright , Lindsey Lerman , Thatcher Peterson . Director of Photography: Scott Henriksen. Photographer: Neil Dacosta. Technical Director: Sun Komen. Developer: Danny Wirick. Editor: Jason Macdonald, JK Carrington, Ryan Bukowski, Chris VanDyke, Maxwell Redinger. Assistant Editor: Grace Yang, Riley Donigan. Founder: Phil Crowe. Colourist: Gregory Reese . Art Assistant: Corey Martinez, David Oh. Music Producer: Andrew Feltenstein , John Nau. Sound Mixer: Rommel Molina . Head of Communications: Jackie  Zupsic. Senior Vice President: Baxter Townsend. Account Supervisor: Adam Skaf, Ashley  Geisheker . Vice President: Kappie Kopp. PR Agency: Tusk Strategies. PR Account Supervisor: Adam Skaf. Project Manager: Julie Lewandowski . Music: Ludovico Einaudi, Daniel Hope – « Experience » (I Virtuosi Italiani, In A Time Lapse 2013, provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group).

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