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Missing People charity launches “Please turn your phone on” campaign

May 24, 2012

Missing People is an independent charity which offers a lifeline when someone disappears. The innovative new campaign, created by BBH, aims to raise awareness of the charity by demonstrating the support that Missing People offers to those who are missing and their families. The activity will launch Missing People’s new phone number, 116 000, on International Missing Children’s Day (Friday 25 May).

The campaign focuses on the charity’s phone service which enables those who are missing to safely reconnect with their families.

The film shows a young boy’s emotional struggle as he attempts to make a phone call, we believe, to his mother who we see trapped in blank misery as she waits for the day that he’ll return. The boy finally manages to make “the call” and at the point where we hear a woman’s voice answer “hello”, the film freezes and the audience is invited to dial a number to hear the conversation. Those who phone the number hear an exchange between the boy and the charity; he asks to let his mum know he is okay. Those who don’t call will view the film in poignant silence. The film closes hopefully as the voiceover plays:

“Our free, confidential phone service helps those who go missing safely reconnect. We are Missing People”

The 90 second film was launched at a Downing Street reception hosted by the Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday 23rd May. A 60 second version will run in cinemas and on MTV from 25th May. There will also be a 30 second non-interactive cut-down.

The phone call element of the campaign has been further supported with interactive posters, donated by washroom contractor partner Admedia, in a charity media-first, using NFC technology from their ‘Connections’ brand. The interactive posters will be placed in leisure and travel destinations nationwide & consumers will be able to hear the call made by the boy on the poster, simply by scanning their NFC phone over the NFC logo. Their phone will then connect them straight to the call within a few seconds.

The film will also be supported by print and digital out-of-home media. This element is made possible via the charity’s new partners the Outdoor Media Centre and digital outdoor production specialist, Grand Visual.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the charity Missing People said, “Our brief to BBH was challenging: can you raise awareness of a vital new number for a charity whose work is not well known or understood? They have managed to create a campaign which communicates in space of 30 seconds, why the charity exists, and who we are here to help. What’s more it communicates the number in the most effective way possible. Thanks to BBH and our partners Grand Visual, the Outdoor Media Centre and its members including Admedia, we now have a campaign that will help to ensure that everyone who needs it knows where to turn if the worst should happen.”