Among the many ground-breaking campaigns that have pushed the concept of Outdoor communication “out-of-the-box”, the digital campaign launched by the Missing People Charity in collaboration with the Outdoor Media Centre proved to be a great success. The campaign which was the biggest digital billboard campaign in British history, started in July 2012. It was supported by the OMC who’s many members, including JCDecaux, donated altogether over £1 million worth of OOH digital space around London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. The aim was to call out to people all around the UK, to inform them of recent or on-going disappearances and harness their help to join the search.
The digital screens enabled to display the missing people’s pictures, as well as information on the date and the area where they went missing. A phone number was also provided, enabling people with potential information to call. Since its launch, the campaign has helped to find 59 people and the charity claims that the number of calls per month has more than doubled. The number of people contacting through text and email has also greatly increased, up by 91%. The weekly digital billboard appeals have also driven online conversations with more than 1,000 photos of the billboards, taken by the public, being shared on social media sites. To make the search even more efficient, each display has been upgraded with the new “OpenLoop” serving system developed by Grand Visual, which will enable to target the ads directly to the missing people’s hometowns or areas where they were last seen. Ross Miller, director of supporter and communications at Missing People, said: "The public response to the campaign so far and the results this has delivered have gone beyond all our expectations”. These promising results have prompted the OMC to extend the campaign until June 2013, bringing the anticipated total value of the media space donated to £2.88 million.