In 2021-22, Australia reported over 53,000 missing individuals. However, the perception among the public was that the numbers were much lower, with many mistakenly believing that most missing people were fugitives or criminals. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) collaborated with Superdream to address this misconception and create a national campaign during Missing Persons Week.
The challenge was to develop a campaign that would break through the noise and effectively convey the magnitude and diversity of missing persons cases. The goal was to shift public perception, raise awareness about the actual number of missing individuals, and highlight the human element by empathising with the families and loved ones affected by these cases.
How we shifted the public perception:
We established a campaign creative that humanised missing individuals, highlighting the vast numbers and diversity of cases. We generated public empathy and support by empathising with families who held onto hope for their loved ones.
We executed a national publicity campaign targeting true crime and missing persons podcasts. This strategy expanded our reach and generated interest in the campaign. With a short campaign duration, we focused on large-format outdoor platforms to maximise visibility and reinforce the campaign’s message across multiple locations.
Alongside the creative and PR tactics, we created a dedicated website featuring an endless scroll of missing persons. The website automatically pulled data from the National Missing Persons Database, visually representing the faces behind the missing individuals.
The National Missing Persons Unit at the AFP claim this was their most successful campaign to date, and it was nominated for the OMA national outdoor media awards.