Advertising for social good wins top SXSW award

Advertising for social good wins top SXSW award

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An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the annual SXSW Interactive Festival features presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology. Four years into things, the organization introduced its own industry awards competition. Sponsored by INNOCEAN with supporting sponsors Cloud.typography and IBM, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Awards ceremony presented 20 awards to some of the world’s top Web developers and designers who are building tomorrow’s interactive trends.

One award showcase is particularly meaningful: SXSW Activism. This category is dedicated to green, governmental and non-profit projects that are striving to make the world a better place. The 2014 winner in SXSW Activism does precisely that.

Video advertising that gives back


With over 1,600 missing person cold cases in Australia, the Australian Federal Police needed a cost effective way to search for new leads


The Missing Persons Pre-roll turned the unavoidable 5 seconds of a YouTube pre-roll into an engaging, geo-targeted missing person banner.

To focus the viewers attention the “Skip” button was modified to show 2 options “Yes, I have” seen the missing person, or “No I haven’t.”. If the user clicked “No, I haven’t” the pre-roll would skip to the video as usual.

The pre-rolls used geo-location targeting to amplify the reach of the campaign.


A YouTube and world first, the Missing Persons Pre-roll was seen by over 1.2 million people during Missing Persons Week and 238 viewers clicked “Yes, I have” providing new information on cold cases.

Each pre-roll targeted an area in which a missing person was last seen, allowing the AFP to broaden their reach and accuracy in the search for Australia’s long term missing people.

The Missing Person Pre-Roll from VML Australia on Vimeo.


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