Sarah Hardcastle, creative, Mr President
In the age of the smartphone it’s easy to only see the things we want to see. From newsfeeds that show us only the stuff we like to clicking ‘skip’ on YouTube, consumers have never had more control over messages that are shared with them.But what about the messages nobody wants to see – or, worse, can’t see at all?
In Finland, 25,000 cases of domestic violence are reported to the police every year. That’s 70 acts of violence a day, with 88% taking place after dark, out of sight, unnoticed.
It’s this alarming statistic that sits behind the thinking of this reactive campaign for the Helsinki Police department, a partnership between JCDecaux and TBWA.
Using location data collected when a report is made, they were able to target the 15 closest OOH units to the crime with a powerful poster campaign the very next day. The posters at first appear to be straightforward ads for a kitchen or beauty brand but, once night falls, a black-light transforms the image to reveal the disturbing truth taking place behind closed doors.
This hyper-local approach meant that the neighbours of victims would be faced with the stark reality of the problem on their own street, making the messaging “You can’t hide the signs of violence” all the more poignant by placing it in spots that are hard to ignore.
The beauty and impact of this idea is in using targeted OOH, as by its very nature it can’t be skipped, scrolled past or blocked. It’s a smart strategy that plays on the medium’s strengths in a bold, reactive way, made all the more effective when combined with the eye-catching creative.
At Mr President, we’re firm believers in bring-ing media and creative together like this, and I can imagine how implementing the idea into digital OOH could make it even more powerful, (for example) by incorporating street names or even the number of calls made in that location.
Many brands are using the technology in this way already – British Airways with its “#lookup” activity, for one. But however it evolves, I hope this campaign continues to become more and more impactful – until it won’t be needed at all.