‘Look at me’… as I look at you: Facial Recognition Billboards

A campaign that launched yesterday in Canary Warf, London used creative billboards to raise awareness of the fight against domestic violence. The campaign was created by London agency WCRS who teamed up with Women’s Aid and Ocean Outdoor to coincide with International Women’s Day this Sunday. 

What’s so amazing about the billboards?

As a way of taking digital advertisements to a new level of creativity facial recognition is being used to recognize when people are paying attention to the ad. As more people look at the billboard, the bruises and cuts displayed on a models face heal faster. The aim of this is to communicate the benefit of not turning a blind eye to the problem and recognising the importance of doing something to stop domestic violence when you can see it happening. . 

Despite the campaign only premiering yesterday the advertisment has already won an Interactive Award in Ocean’s annual Art of Outdoor competition 2014. 

Women’s Aid and Ocean Amplify the Violent Face of Abuse from Ocean Outdoor on Vimeo.

I think this is a great way of using this technology for raising awareness of an important issue, rather than just targeting us with the right products. I often write blog posts about creative campaigns that I think shine within the industry and this is definitely one of them. A conventional billboard would have gained awareness but this digital communication takes it to the next level and will really make people think. 

What do you think?

Story found at adweek.com 

The best of the beautiful game campaigns

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you wouldn’t have been able to escape the lead up to the 2014 World Cup. Having said that, there’s been so much hype about the 20th World Cup that it would probably find its way under the rock anyway.

(I must say that I have never watched a football game before so I can’t say that I’m not a fan of the sport. I do like watching sports so perhaps I would enjoy it, however, my only dislike with the game is the over-the-top hooligan fans that come with it. The ones that get into fights when their adored team loses or starts riots in a town centre pub when they disagree with a refs decision.. This type of football crazy fan makes me think negatively about the sport and therefore have steered clear. But what I have been interested in is the overload of football themed campaigns that have been released this summer.)

Many companies have jumped on the opportunity to release a timely campaign that fits in with the build up to the World Cup. Brands like Nike and Pepsi have pushed the boat out, so to speak, and have created some extravagant campaigns, whilst others have simply paddled in the shallow waters with a more simple approach.

Here’s a look into some of the campaigns that have launched to coincide with the 2014 World Cup:


Kristin Patrick, Pepsi’s global chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg in April: “It’s the first time we’ve rolled out a global football campaign to this magnitude. It’s in 130 countries, and we have a large body of content from television, short films and digital content. We have events happening every single month leading to up to the summer.”


Nike’s ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits so far.

Beats by Dre


Adidas, an official partner of FIFA has 17 million Facebook likes and one million Twitter followers.

The advert creation isn’t the only element of the campaign as Adidas promises to have 50 people in its Rio ‘war room’ located at the home of Flamengo FC. “Our target is to be the most talked about brand at the World Cup,” says Rob Hughes, senior global football PR manager, adidas global football. “We will have our legal, marketing and FIFA teams to help expedite approvals, to ensure we are best placed to publish content and drive media spend, no matter what the time, day or time zone.”

It is clear, however, that a company doesn’t need to be an official partner or sponser with FIFA. Coca Cola’s campaign has been over-shadowed by Pepsi even though Coca-Cola is an official partner and sponsor.


Twitter also got involved by creating ‘hashflags’. This new feature turns a hashtag and 3 letter abbreviation into a colour icon of the countries flag.



So to sum up the campaigns, it is clear that a visual and interactive approach has been used by many big-name brands as way of establishing themselves within the World Cup. Social media has, of course, hit the ground running with new features and engaging ways for fans to communicate throughout the World Cup. There is a lot more that could be said about new campaigns and features but I feel like this post is now rather long, so here are a couple of links for you to use if you wish to read more about this.

Tech Giants Play The Game

War Rooms

The Start Of The End: Dissertation Prep

Every students nightmare has to be the dreaded dissertation. I am now nearing the end of the second year of the degree at Southampton Solent University and little did I know that I would have to start thinking about my dissertation topic now. Along with the rest of the PR cohort, dissertation proposals, topic choices, and research questions were a distant thought. I suppose it’s a good thing to not leave it all till third year but it is scary to think I have to begin planning it now. Not all courses have a dissertation as a part of the degree, and they’re the lucky ones, however the Public Relations and Communications degree does. 10’000 words of PR-perfect content that is specific to your chosen topic.

Catherine Sweet is the lecturer for the Research and Evaluation unit on the degree and Catherine has been talking us through the first stages of researching our topic choices. As part of this unit I am required to produce a portfolio with 6 entries, 3 of which are focused on my dissertation topic. The 3 entires are a literature search, document analysis, and a content analysis. In order to do these 3 entries I first had to decide upon my topic and form it into my dissertation title. A guest speaker came in to speak to the group about her experience with dissertation writing and doing work placements. She told us the best way to narrow down our topic is to make a mind map called ‘Topic Choice’ where we look at what our ideal job would be, what we are curious about, what our hobbies are, and finally what our secret passion is. Below is my mind map that I used to create my dissertation title.

mind map topic choice


From this mind map I worked out that I wanted to write my dissertation on Environmental Issues and the approaches people make to try and make a difference. From this I then researched into activists and narrowed my title down to..

‘How Far Is Too Far? A comparative study into the PR of Greenpeace and WWF to identify effective activist campaigning tactics.’

I have begun to work on the first drafts of my literature search and content analysis with document analysis left to do. I am enjoying doing the research, which is giving me the motivation to write about this topic for my dissertation. There’s no good in choosing a topic that you’re not interested in and then struggling to write 10,000 words about it.

I am looking forward to the third year to really start working on my dissertation topic and learning more about environmental issues and activist tactics. I aim to work on environmental campaigns in the future so my dissertation should help me to achieve this goal.

Below is a prezi presentation I created as part of the Employability and Work Placement unit for this term. The prezi is my Career Development Action Plan of where I wanted to end up after graduating university and how I aim to get there.

If the prezi doesn’t load through the box above try this link instead: