Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney Mobilises 'Voices' For UN

Sydney - Saatchi & Saatchi Australia this week unveils a groundbreaking campaign for pro bono client United Nations called "The UN Voices Project" in which you can actually listen to an outdoor poster and press advertisement via mobile phone technology.

Using an innovative new digital channel to connect and engage the public, the campaign features outdoor posters, print and online elements. These are combined to reinforce the message of giving a voice to those whose plight normally goes unseen and unheard.

People around Sydney are encouraged to take a mobile phone photo of the featured person's mouth and send it to a number on the poster as a text message. Then using digital image recognition technology and an Australian first call back service, the sender receives a return phone call with a pre-recorded message from the person they have photographed, giving a brief insight into how they live and highlighting some of the issues they face. The message then directs people to a UN website where visitors can leave their own comments and thoughts, turning the original seven voices into thousands.

Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Simone Bartley said, "The voices of this campaign tell an Australian story that is completely outside the experience of most people. It's easy to tune out, to ignore the fact that many Australians face a life in which they suffer abuse, poverty or neglect.

"By creating new and exciting ways for our consumers to engage and interact with brands we're able to ensure we remain at the forefront of creativity and effectiveness. This campaign has allowed us to do both for a great cause."

The campaign appears to be relatively simple in execution, yet is deceptively powerful and moving in its impact. Seven different posters have been set up around various sites in Sydney featuring people with a story to tell. These posters feature; Loula (a domestic violence survivor), Foday (a Refugee from Western Africa), Shannon (Aboriginal youth worker and activist), Nathan (a 13 year old born with HIV), Tony (a homeless man), Nada (a Muslim Australian) and Uncle Max (an Aboriginal Elder).

Conceived as a UN brand campaign, it is the first to combine several of the UN's many causes and charities. It will initially be concentrated in the Sydney central business district with the option to expand throughout Australia and potentially worldwide, utilising Saatchi & Saatchi and the UN's global relationship.

Mr Abdullah Saleh Mbamba, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Australia, said, "The introduction of such innovative technology by Saatchi & Saatchi enters into a new dimension of awareness-raising that will result in the increased support for the United Nations.

"I congratulate and thank Saatchi & Saatchi for their support in this project," Mr Mbamba added.

Paul Worboys, Saatchi & Saatchi's Head of Digital and Direct commented, "Technology for technology's sake is just not relevant today - however, using innovative technology that extends an idea to make it connect at a deeper level with a consumer, is.  And this UN Voices campaign is a great example of this in action."

Brani Mead, Global Business Analyst at The Hyperfactory explains, "Whilst image recognition itself is nothing new, the use of MMS image recognition to activate a consumers aural and visual senses in this campaign marks a first in the Australian market.  In addition to this, the integration of complex real time billing interface and comprehensive IVR integration to the delivery platform, really lifts the bar, and excites and engages the consumer like never before whilst maintaining a socially relevant, easy-to-use and engaging overall campaign landscape."
Mobot CEO Russell Gocht added, "We are pleased to provide the core technology which makes this campaign so appealing.  When people take a photo, the brand and the message is reinforced, and the immediacy of the response further multiplies the impression.

"As the worldwide leader in mobile visual search, we have delivered many commercial campaigns and solutions, but supporting the UN to create real awareness of social need in the community is no less valuable to us as a company."

All pro bono media space has been organised by ZenithOptimedia.


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