|Brand||MISSING PERSONS ADVOCACY NETWORK|
|Product / Service||MISSING PERSONS ADVOCACY NETWORK|
|Category||A08. Innovative Use of Technology|
|Entrant||whiteGREY MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||whiteGREY MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA|
|Production||whiteGREY MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA|
|Chad Mackenzie||whiteGREY||National Executive Creative Director|
|Anthony Moss||whiteGREY||Executive Creative Director|
|Ronojoy Ghosh||whiteGREY||Creative Director|
|Benjamin Mann||whiteGREY||Art Director|
|Lauren Bowen||whiteGREY||Digital Designer|
|Claudia McInerney||whiteGREY||Managing Director|
|Amy Ross||whiteGREY||Account Director|
|Holly Ryan||whiteGREY||Account Manager|
|Harriet Lade||whiteGREY||Account Manager|
|Matt Simms||whiteGREY||Senior Experience Strategist|
We harnessed Facebook’s new facial recognition and auto tagging technology to search for missing persons. By creating Facebook profiles for the missing and building them a friend network, we created a social search party that scoured the backgrounds of millions of photos and videos posted on Facebook, daily.
To harness Facebook’s facial recognition technology, we created 10 profiles for 10 missing people and populated them with personal information and photos of each individual. Tagging each photo trained Facebook on what face to look for. A landing page invisiblefriends.com.au was established to explain how the tech and the initiative work, while also providing authenticity to the profiles. Then a large social and PR push aimed to garner as many Facebook friends as possible for each Invisible Friend profile. The campaign launched in mid April and is ongoing, with missing persons organisations around the world wanting to implement the program for some of their missing people.
At the time of this submission, (only two weeks from launch) each Invisible Friends Facebook profile had more than triple the average amount of Facebook Friends and climbing. With a joined total of over 10,000 friends, searching through tens of millions of photos and videos posted by friends and friends of friends, each day. The campaign reached more than 25 countries, and is being rolled out by other missing persons organisations in the USA, Britain, Europe and Asia. And on the first day of the PR launch, based on the overwhelmingly positive public and media response, Facebook reached out to praise MPAN and offer help. Negotiations are underway.
We’re more connected than ever before, thanks to Facebook and social media; yet the way we search for missing persons hasn’t changed. We rely on people to ‘look for’ or help ‘spot’ missing persons in public; which is why we have always defaulted to posters, milk cartons and other low cost, high awareness media. Our problem wasn’t with the media, but the requirement of people to ‘look’ for missing people the reliance on others to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. In an ‘always on’ world, we’re bombarded with 1000s of messages daily, and the chances of achieving cut through is diminishing. We found a way to utilise technology to let machines do the searching for us. Using Facebook’s facial recognition an AI engine that analyses every friend’s photo and video for your face the process of search for ‘missing persons’ as simple as adding a friend on Facebook.
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