Missing People, BBH Barn (the creative placement scheme run by BBH London) and JCDecaux UK teamed up for a new campaign in August which sought to take advantage of the current Pokémon Go craze in order to raise awareness for high risk missing people.
Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm, with players using their phones to search for virtual animals that are hidden in real locations all over the country. As a result, huge groups of people are now searching high and low, and real world locations like bars, cafes and parks have been turned into hunting grounds or recharging stations.
The campaign urged people playing the game to seek out the real missing people, as well as the virtual animals in the game. Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. Last year, the Metropolitan Police recorded over 42,956 incidents of people going missing in the capital. Missing People is an independent charity which offers a lifeline when someone disappears.
During a Pokémon GO walk in Trafalgar Square earlier this month (a mass quest to catch Pokémon, battle and trade with others around central London), images of missing people, which ask anyone with information to call the charity’s free, 24/7 and confidential helpline 116 600, were run on JCDecaux’s Transvision screens in busy London stations, including London Waterloo, as well as the LDN network.
Vinyl posters of missing people were also placed on the floor in locations where people look for Pokemon, in the line of sight of everyone looking down at their phone screens. To determine the most relevant places in which to activate the campaign, BBH cross referenced locations where high risk missing people were last spotted with popular Pokémon GO hotspots.
Clare Cook, Head of Campaigns at Missing People, said: “Pokemon Go has captured the public’s attention. BBH’s campaign taps into this gaming phenomenon to try and help to find some of the 250,000 people who go missing in the UK every year. The generous support of JCDecaux will mean digital billboards around London’s train stations will also help reach as many people as possible with appeals for high risk missing children.”