By John Glenday | Reporter

May 26, 2022 | 2 min read

Engine Creative has used the latest technology for missing person posters, creating a hi-tech 3D display on behalf of the charity Missing People.

The digital marketing agency has harnessed the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to recreate a live image of the person being sought, establishing a more visceral connection with passersby in the hope of triggering memory recall and the likelihood of a positive response.

Leah Croucher, Finn Layland-Stratfield and Alexander Sloley are the first individuals to be tested on the system, which can animate photographs using machine learning (ML) to provide an uncannily lifelike appearance.

It is based on established behavioral science, which shows people are more likely to act when they can empathize with the person being sought. The ‘live’ display offers full flexibility of orientation and facial features so that the faces ‘look’ directly at individuals.

Appearing on Ocean Outdoor digital screens across London, the campaign includes an incorporated QR code to facilitate sharing of the poster via social channels.

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Steve Hawthorne, creative director at Engine, said: “Ever since ‘Missing’ posters were first created they have never really changed. Whether it’s a person or a pet, the basic formula has always remained the same. But in that time our understanding of people and the technology at our disposal have moved on. So we wanted to take a fresh look at ‘Missing’ posters to see how we could make them more effective.”

An estimated 70,000 children and young people go missing each year in the UK, with many more cases thought to go unreported.

The initiative is the result of Ocean Outdoor’s annual Digital Creative Competition, which awarded £75k of free media to Engine in its charity category.

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