AI based campaign launched to stop knife crime on Mother's Day

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Mother's Day Campaign Launched to Raise Awareness About Knife Crime

The Ben Kinsella Trust is launching an innovative new machine learning campaign on Mother’s Day, to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime. The push was developed by M&C Saatchi London and Clear Channel UK.

Last year, 315 people were admitted to hospital with knife-related injuries around Mother’s Day. Sadly, too many didn’t make it home. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime, highlighting the thoughts that go through a mother’s mind whenever she hears the sound of an ambulance siren.

This innovative poster campaign is based on anxious messages and text exchanges between real mothers and their sons imploring to them to stay safe and not to carry a knife.

In a world first, M&C Saatchi London worked with Clear Channel to develop a machine learning system which was trained to understand what an ambulance siren sounds like. The technology has been placed at Clear Channel’s site in Tower Hamlets, London.

Every time an ambulance drives past, or is in close proximity to, the outdoor ad, its siren triggers the technology installed to show powerful messages from mothers to their sons, making the connection between ambulances and the genuine worry mothers have when they hear one stronger and more powerful than ever before.

In addition to this AI-driven installation, the campaign also includes standard out-of-home executions showcasing the thoughts and fears of mothers across digital screens in London. This is supported by organic social media activity.

This campaign is a follow up to M&C Saatchi and the Ben Kinsella Trust’s award-winning ‘Shout out to my son’ radio campaign which ran in 2019. The radio adverts featured mothers making emotional pleas to their sons to stop carrying a knife.

Brooke Kinsella said, "It's been 15 years since we lost Ben and the pain of his loss has never gone away. Nobody should ever have to receive a phone call telling them that their loved one has been involved in a knife-related incident. Our campaign highlights the unique bond that exists between young men and their mums. Using text messages from mothers making emotional pleas to their sons, this innovative campaign will reach young men and make them think about the impact their decisions will have on those they love, so they stay safe and don't carry a knife."

Guy Bradbury, Creative Partner, M&C Saatchi, added: “Much of the dialogue around knife crime is focussed on those who are directly involved, or on the government’s response. In this campaign we wanted to shine a light on its devastating impact on those who are left behind, handing over poster sites to the one person our audience might listen to: their mums.”

Jonathan Acton, Head of Creative Delivery, Clear Channel, said: “As soon as we heard about this amazing idea, we knew we had to build it. By using machine learning we have enabled the digital out-of-home bus shelters to adapt the creative to change when they 'hear' a siren. We’re using technology to bring this important campaign message to life in a dynamic way that has never been done before, to really engage passers-by."

The Ben Kinsella Trust is committed to tackling knife crime and its impact on young people and their families.

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