Seize the Awkward

“When the stadium lights are dimmed, when the cameras stop flashing, when the pads are off, the pressure sinks in and it’s just me. Just me in a world of expectation,” said USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams. “No one can carry that alone. Pressure doesn’t have to be carried alone.”

USC Annenberg students, led by co-directors Christian John Bradley and Shreya Ranganathan, teamed up with Williams and the Caleb Cares Foundation, to ideate, film, direct and edit a national PSA that encourages young adults to start conversations around mental health. Highlighting Williams’ personal experiences with mental health and the students’ own perspectives on the importance of checking in with friends, the PSA is a part of the Seize the Awkward campaign, created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Jed Foundation in collaboration with the Ad Council. Judy Smith, founder and president of Smith & Company, and her son, Smith & Company Vice President Cody Boulware (BA, communication, ’12) helped establish the industry collaboration and portfolio-building opportunity for the students.