The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and ad agency M/H VCCP have launched Runaway Train 25, a cross-industry initiative that sees more than 450 digital billboards and transit screens raising awareness ahead of Saturday’s National Missing Children’s Day.
This is a separate initiative from the one pulled together by the automated content service Screenfeed, which has developed free, regionalized missing kids feeds for network operators.
Organized by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), and produced by Grand Visual, the campaign publishes the names and photos of missing children and raises awareness of the number to call for sightings; 1-800-THE-LOST.
The digital OOH activation spans 14 media vendors and runs across rail, roadside, and high street locations in more than 40 U.S states, including major cities NYC, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
The campaign is delivered through OpenLoop, a Grand Visual dynamic creative toolset that takes the data feed from NCMEC and publishes each missing child case in a geo-targeted push to digital billboards in and around the region where the child went missing (much as is done with Screenfeed’s).
“It’s about using clever ad tech to reach a broadcast level audience, whilst delivering tactical and relevant information at a community level,” says Grand Visual’s COO, Ben Putland.
“Last year NCMEC assisted with over 25,000 cases of missing children, the vast majority were runaways,” says NCMEC President and CEO John Clark. “Thanks to the outdoor advertising community and all of our amazing partners, this highly targeted campaign gives us visibility in transit locations across the U.S. Campaigns like this can play a vital part in the search and the ability to run multiple cases that are geo-targeted across more than 40 states will be a true game changer.”
The campaign also has a music video …
This music video will find #MissingKids. We're proud to launch #RunawayTrain25, the first music video designed to find missing children in your area. See it at https://t.co/6S35XaHFC8. pic.twitter.com/ytizPiK6Gk
— M/H VCCP (@mh_vccp) May 22, 2019
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.