Product / ServiceMPAN
CategoryA07. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
EntrantwhiteGREY Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation whiteGREY Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement MINDSHARE Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Production FINCH Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Joe Hill whiteGREY ECD
Garret Fitzgerald whiteGREY ECD
Benjamin Mann whiteGREY Creative
Nic Molyneux whiteGREY Creative
Nathan Rogers whiteGREY Head of Strategy

Why is this work relevant for Media?

Missed Birthdays is a unique media campaign in that it sees birthday messages from the loved ones of missing persons run in above-the-line media on the day of the missing person’s actual birthday.


The Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN) works to support the loved ones of missing persons. This sees MPAN both generate awareness for missing persons cases, and awareness of the little understood form of grief experienced known as ambiguous loss. When a person goes missing, the search puts the focus on them. Yet with over 100 Australians reported missing every day, this traditional approach of providing a photo and some basic information doesn’t always receive the necessary public interest, or convey the emotion behind each case. MPAN needed a way to get the public to better connect with missing persons cases. By doing so, MPAN could raise more effective awareness for missing persons, as well as funds to train a new generation of ambiguous loss specialists.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

A missing persons campaign that looked at those left behind on the most important day of the year. ‘Missed Birthdays’ saw the family members of missing persons record or write heartfelt messages to their loved ones. These messages were run in above-the-line media on the missing person’s actual birthday. Each message reaches directly out to the missing person, but also invites the audience into the emotional world of what it’s like to not know whether someone will ever return.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Missed Birthdays uses an occasion we can all relate to, to bring more meaning to missing persons cases and foster a deeper understanding of the unique form of grief of ambiguous loss. The messages speak directly to missing loved ones, and in doing so they speak to us all, connecting a broad audience to what it’s like to miss someone. Crucial to the campaign was planning media on and around each birthday so that the executions could potentially reach the missing person, and also have maximum emotional connection and impact with our audience.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Launching in November 2019, the campaign features four different birthdays, across four different mediums. Paul Rushworth – 4th November (Online Film / 30sec TVC) Naz Woldemicheal – 11th November (Online Film / 30sec TVC) Rigby Fielding – 22nd March (Radio) Monique Clubb – 5th April (Press / OOH) CSA media had to be planned for each medium on and around each birthday. Each execution directs the viewer to an online microsite where they can make a donation towards MPAN. Each Missed Birthday message currently lives on at missedbirthdays.com.au

List the results (30% of vote)

-Missed Birthdays has generated $1 Million in free media placements. -The campaign has reached an estimated 5.6 million Australians. -Since going live, the radio spot has generated renewed police interest in Rigby Fielding’s case.


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