Wunderman Thompson and Child Focus won’t let missing children disappear.
Antwerp - 25 May 2022
25 May is the International Day of Missing Children. A day of hope and solidarity. For the 21st edition of this day, Child Focus is launching a striking campaign in tandem with Wunderman Thompson: a website that can only be kept alive by the general public, just like the hope for long-missing children.
Every year Child Focus, the Belgian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children, handles some 2,000 files on child disappearances. In 95% of cases the child in question is found quickly but a number of disappearances in Belgium still remain unsolved. The general public sometimes writes off these cases as hopeless, causing the attention to disappear. However, Child Focus and the children’s loved ones never abandon the hope of breakthrough testimony. As long as a disappearance case remains open, we must continue to share the stories of these children. When we stop paying attention to them and allow them to be forgotten, that is when these children truly disappear.
To bring this emotional message across to the general public Wunderman Thompson Antwerp created keephopealive.be. The pictures of missing children on this website do exactly what happens when the children disappear from the public eye: they gradually fade. Based on the number of visitors to the website and the number of missing persons notices that are shared, the portraits of seven long-missing children will either become more visible or fade. The children are Liam Vanden Branden, Nathalie Geijsbregts, Théo Hayez, Antoine Plomteux, Ken Heyrman, Vincent Lamouris and Gevriye Cavas.
French illustrator Nabil Nezzar converted the original pictures on their missing persons notices into lifelike, hand-drawn portraits. The pictures that either fade in or out make this website an emotional place that incites people to think and share.
As long as we keep the thought of these children alive, there’s hope. That is the message in the social campaign, on digital billboards in prominent locations and posters in shops in which Child Focus appeals to all of us to (keep) visit(ing) the website as of 25 May. Every visit and shared missing persons notice helps keep the faces visible and attract new visitors. Child Focus can also count on the support of numerous influencers who will mobilise their followers to visit the website.
Inevitably public attention for the website will decrease after a while but according to Creative Director Kasper Janssens that is precisely the strength of the campaign: “Keep Hope Alive acts as a lasting motivator to keep hope for missing children alive. And if the day does come that the children fade entirely, website visitors will instead see a relevant message that will motivate them to rekindle that hope, however small it may seem at the time.”
- Agency: Wunderman Thompson Antwerp
- Client: Child Focus
- Client contact: Stephan Smets
- Creative Directors: Manuel Ostyn, Pieter Staes, Kasper Janssens, Arjen Tarras
- Creative team: Kate Bellefroid, Jolien Tuyteleers
- Account team: Barbara Van Duffel, Emilie van der Meijden
- Program director: Stefan De Haes
- Strategy: Alexander Kolenberg
- Design: Jeffrey Uten
- Illustration: Nabil Nezzar
- Motion design: Andreas De Ridder, Christoph Boost
- Creative Technologist: Sam Serrien
- Lead developer: Bram Verdyck
- Producer: Thomas Anthoni
- DTP: Theo Hagtingius, Jan-Bart Debruyne