08.03.15

Gazing at display ‘heals’ domestic abuse victims

British DOOH company Ocean has teamed up with charity Women’s Aid and creative agency WCRS to create a striking interactive advertising campaign to highlight domestic abuse. Launched in London and Birmingham in the UK, interactive billboards show the image of a bruised woman with the words "Look at me". Facial recognition technology allows the screens to recognise when people actively pay attention to the image and as more people take notice, the woman’s bruises slowly heal.

The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate that to those passing by that in taking notice they can help confront the signs of domestic violence by not turning a blind eye.

The feat is said to be a world first. Ocean exclusively operate facial recognition technology on large format DOOH in the UK, and in delivering this campaign claim to be the first organisation to use the gaze tracking element of the system to trigger or superimpose content for live playback in real time on the screens. Those who look at the billboard get feedback via a live video feed that runs along the bottom of the ad as a visual ticker-tape, registering an increasing number of viewers.

The campaign was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on Sunday.

Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley said: "The link between our premium screens as a live and changing canvas to publicly address an issue that often goes unreported demonstrates the dynamic capability of digital out of home to amplify an incredibly important issue."

Ross Neil, creative director at WCRS, said: "We are proud to be the first agency to demonstrate cause and effect to audiences by using facial recognition technology in this large-scale billboard format. The simplicity of the advert’s wording and image implicates passers-by in their inactivity before the advanced technology demonstrates how they personally can make a change in the fight against domestic violence by engaging with it."