Thursday, October 17, 2013

YouTube - The Missing Person Pre-Roll

Throughout my childhood, missing persons were prominently featured on the side of milk cartons (if you're not familiar with this phenomenon, Slate has a good background article here).  It's only natural that the hunt for missing persons should be updated for the digital age, specifically YouTube.  For missing persons week the Australian Federal police and VML Australia developed a Missing Persons pre-roll ad.  The ads featured missing persons in Australia and were geo-targeted to focus on the specific location that each person was last seen.  Additionally, they modified the typical 'skip' button to allow the user to select 'Yes I have' or 'No I haven't' seen this person.

While no missing persons were found, it's a wonderful idea particularly when it comes to finding missing children as YouTube is the perfect media platform when trying to reach the younger demographic (who spend a tremendous amount of time on YouTube).  If I'm honest, the modification of the 'skip' button seems gratuitous as you could simply include a call to action to click on the video if you've seen the missing person.  In any case it's a smart use of media and something I hope will be used more widely.  Check out the case study video below.

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