INDUSTRY - Law and Social Justice



The concept behind “Time Done,” which was conceived by Emergence Creative and features the song “The Tree” by Sons of Bill, is the familiar image of “hash marks” on a cell wall, counting the number of days until release. Here, those marks will follow the released individual back into his “normal” life, serving as a metaphor for the enduring barriers he faces as he tries to adjust. The viewer follows the protagonist from his release and reunion with his family to various attempts to reestablish his life: volunteering as a coach for his daughter, applying for a job, and trying to register to vote. The dejection and frustration he and his family experience as a result of these barriers demonstrates the difficulty of truly moving on and finding redemption. The spot closes with facts related to incarceration in Florida—where the campaign will launch—and a powerful question: When will our sentence end?

ASJ approached us because they wanted to highlight the many barriers and restrictions that people living with felony convictions face upon release from prison, of which most Americans are unaware. The number of people convicted of a crime classified as a felony offense has skyrocketed over the past four decades: There are more than 20 million people (1 in 12 adults)  in the U.S. with a current or prior felony conviction, about four times more than in 1980. These individuals face hundreds of restrictions on employment, professional licensing, voting, housing, benefits, and more. Too often, these barriers prevent them from earning a decent living, supporting their families, and becoming productive members of the community. Rather than relying solely on facts and statistics, we sought to tell a human story that would inspire empathy from the audience.

“Time Done” is just the most recent example of Emergence Creative’s unique approach to social impact advertising.