Ben Brand aims to blur the lines between short films and advertisements with his heart-wrenching piece When You Get Home, and is presented on its own as well as a Road Safety campaign against using phones while driving.
When You Get Home follows a French police officer as he tries to comfort a crying baby in a field. Finding a suitcase of belongings strewn about nearby, he gives the baby water and puts on a puppet show of sorts with toys, using his cap as a boat. An ambulance sirens past the two and it’s revealed that the baby’s head is bleeding, and the film broadens its focus from just the two of them to the entire scene: the other officers, the overturned car, and the bodies lying on the ground. The officer sings to the baby as he walks her past her parents, killed from the accident, as well as the phone on the ground which caused it.
The most captivating and human aspect of the short comes from Issaka Sawadogo’s incredible performance as the police officer. Though obviously the hero of the situation, he is unsure of the situation and often times looks visibly pained and petrified rather than self-assured and confident.
When You Get Home successfully delivers an emotional punch to the gut, and that’s all before you find out that it’s inspired by a true story. The story on which Brand bases this hybrid advert is not far from the one he depicts. Brand saw a photograph of an officer singing to a baby girl after an accident in which her father was killed after not wearing a seat belt. Brand aims to “create more depth and meaning in advertising” and with a project like this, he’s well on his way to doing just that.