Missing People has teamed up with BBH Barn, the creative placement scheme run by BBH London, on a new ambient campaign which seeks to take advantage of the current Pokémon GO craze in order to raise awareness for high risk missing people who desperately need to be found and made safe.
Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm, with players using their phones to search for virtual animals 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.
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.”
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. Vinyl posters of missing people, which ask anyone with information to call the charity’s free, 24/7 and confidential helpline 116 000, were this weekend placed on the floor in locations where people are looking for Pokemon, in the line of sight of everyone looking down at their phone screens. Posters were also run in high visibility sights in busy London transport hubs, including London Waterloo station, that have been donated by JCDecaux - one of the UK's number one leading out-of-home advertising companies company, and a key supporter of the charity.
To determine the most relevant places to activate the campaign, BBH cross referenced locations where high risk missing people were last spotted with popular Pokémon GO hotspots. The first of these coincided with the Pokémon GO walk in Trafalgar Square last weekend - a mass quest to catch Pokémon, battle and trade with others around central London, which attracted over four thousand attendees.
CEOP have issued a guide for parents advising them how to keep their children safe when playing the game.