While YouTube watchers sometimes groan at pre-roll, ad agency VML worked with the Australian police to create a digital video advertisement that actually makes the world a better place.
As a part of “Missing Persons Week,” the agency bought pre-roll that turned ads into interactive missing persons posters.
To make sure that viewers engaged rather than zoned out, VML swapped the “Skip” button with two options: Yes, they have seen the missing person recently, or “No I haven’t.” VML also used geo-location targeting to show viewers people who were last seen at a nearby location.
While there are no reports that a missing person has been found yet, 238 out of 1.2 million viewers clicked that they saw a missing person five days into the campaign. That creates new leads for the police.
This isn’t the first time that pre-roll has been used for advocacy purposes. Publicis Brussels made an ad for the Belgian suicide prevention line that showed a depressed woman discussing her problems. People who pressed “skip ad” were then shown a scene that resulted in suicide, teaching the importance of listening to cries for help.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-pre-roll-ad-finds-missing-people-2013-9#ixzz2dxeGTDn3