Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The UN Voices Project: Print Advertising That Talks

A truly groundbreaking advertising campaign titled 'The UN Voices Project' was launched by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia earlier this week. Tailored for the United Nations, the new campaign combines innovative creative thinking with cutting edge mobile phone and image recognition technologies. According to Saatchi & Saatchi The UN Voices Project is probably the first attempt to make outdoor posters and press advertisement voice communicating with their targeted audience. Here is how this is done according to and four examples already printed (Click images for high-res versions).

"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."

"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."


Product: United Nations
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney
Creatives: David Nobay and Steve Back (Creative Director), VINCE LAGANA (Creatives), Steve Jackson (Creatives)


  1. I've got to say, I'm always torn about marketing tactics. As a marketer myself, with a background in psych and neuroscience, it is utterly for me to try to find a new angle. It's like solving a mystery.

    On the other hand, every time we humans begin to be able to filter out some of the media onslaught, technology just helps advertisers find more clever ways to infiltrate consumer consciousness.

    Makes me want to move to a cave in the mountains.

  2. I think this is a very inventive idea. Giving a voice to those without one is a pretty powerful statement. I wonder if they will get a lot of participation though.

  3. Myko,
    Change usually occurs when action is taken. Those of us who are featured in the campaign can't change what has happened to us.
    The campaign has given us a voice to share our stories and to hopefully bring about a change in community sttitudes.
    Our prayer and hope is that the community at large will stand with us and put a stop to the injustices we have had to face.

  4. The tactic is great but it won't make a virtually useless and ineffective UN any better.


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