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By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

March 16, 2023 | 3 min read

Created by M&C Saatchi and Clear Channel, the hard-hitting push is triggered by a new AI machine learning system that recognizes sirens nearby on route to major trauma hospitals.

In the last year, over 300 people were admitted to hospital with knife-related injuries around Mother’s Day. This outdoor campaign highlights exactly what goes through a parent’s mind when they hear the sound of an ambulance and is based on worried text exchanges between real mums and their sons.

It’s a world first, says the agency, which worked alongside Clear Channel to develop a machine learning system that was trained to understand what an ambulance siren sounds like.

Every time an ambulance drives past or is close, its siren triggers the technology installed to show the messages sent from mothers.

Jonathan Acton, head of creative delivery at Clear Channel, said: “As soon as we heard about this amazing idea, we knew we had to build it. By using machine learning, we have enabled the digital out-of-home bus shelters to adapt the creative to change when they ‘hear’ a siren. We’re using technology to bring this important campaign message to life in a dynamic way that has never been done before, to really engage passersby.”

The ad campaign will be featured up and down the UK on nearly one thousand digital billboards.

Guy Bradbury, creative partner at M&C Saatchi London, said: “Much of the dialogue around knife crime is focused on those who are directly involved, or on the government’s response. In this campaign, we wanted to shine a light on its devastating impact on those who are left behind, handing over poster sites to the one person our audience might listen to: their mums.”

This campaign follows the award-winning Ben Kinsella Trust’s campaign titled ‘Shout out to my son’, which ran in 2019, that featured mothers making emotional pleas to their sons to stop carrying knives.

Brooke Kinsella said, “It’s been 15 years since we lost Ben and the pain of his loss has never gone away. Nobody should ever have to receive a phone call telling them that their loved one has been involved in a knife-related incident.

“Our campaign highlights the unique bond that exists between young men and their mums. Using text messages from mothers making emotional pleas to their sons, this innovative campaign will reach young men and make them think about the impact their decisions will have on those they love, so they stay safe and don’t carry a knife.”

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