Powerful video ad aims to create a connection to Syrian conflict

Series of 1-second-a-day selfies of a young girl reveal a nightmare version of Britain

A haunting new video from the U.K.-based Save the Children charity asks viewers to remember that although the Syrian conflict is happening far away, that doesn't mean it isn't really happening.

The roughly 90-second clip, shot like a series of one-second-a-day selfies of a young girl, starts with a birthday celebration. Things continue as one might expect: trips to the playground, fun with friends.

But all the while, there are ominous undertones. Newscasters in the background speak of violence. Newspapers feature headlines of martial law. A man shouts at another man about how somebody "deserved to get shot."

Then, things really get rough. There's a bombing. The lights go out. The water stops running. People begin to flee the city en mass. Gas masks are worn, bullets fly, people scream, the girl looks around, saying, "Where are we?"

Which is sort of the point. The video is supposed to be taking place in a nightmare version of Britain. But Save the Children wants viewers to see that the video's chaos and violence is a reality for the children of Syria.

There are currently 2,493,025 registered Syrian refugees, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. More than half are children under the age of 18, the agency reports.

This isn't the first time an agency has tried to increase public awareness of the Syrian conflict's effect on children. Last month, a filmed experiment of a child shivering without a coat at a bus stop in Norway created a lot of buzz.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).