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Disappearing Person Alerts

BWM Dentsu and Cox Inall Change


In Australia, one person is reported missing every 15 minutes and the group most at risk of disappearing are teenagers. In the search for these missing persons, the police can only do so much - they heavily rely on information provided by the general public. The more people who know of a person's disappearance the greater the chance of them being found.

Our task was to modernise the way missing persons information is distributed to the public, thereby recruiting more young Australians to help find missing persons within the all-important first 24-hour period.

This was a proactive idea with a budget of $0. It took an incredible team effort by BWM Dentsu, Cox Inall Change and Vizeum - to launch, promote and get people talking about Disappearing Person Alerts.


Traditional missing person alerts are outdated and fail to reach the public (particularly teenagers) within the all-important 24-hour period from when someone is reported missing. Our strategy was to utilise the fastest growing social media platform among young Australians to help find the group most at risk of going missing - teenagers.

By using Snapchat, police are able to instantly contact the public in a targeted area, at all times. The power of this data enabled us to create 'Disappearing Person Alerts' - a disappearing message to help find disappearing persons.



BWM Dentsu developed creative, Cox Inall Change maximised PR through launching the integrated campaign in conjunction with National Missing Persons Week. Sourcedby Vizeum, 280K of pro bono media including OOH, radio, TV, cinema, digital and press, activated Queenslanders to join Australia's biggest search party.

Using Snapchat, the alerts now communicate vital information (name, photo and place last seen) to the public within a specific area - when time is of the essence.

Using the native functionality of Snapchat - the alert, disappearing after 10 seconds, communicates a highly emotive message 'Help find John Citizen before he disappears'.



Vizeum helped promote the campaign through acquiring 280K of pro bono media (TV, radio, cinema, OOH, digital and print).

Through the work of Cox Inall Change, the launch gained national recognition with 1.1 million media impressions from $0 budget.

The campaign has activated the platform that engages 90% of the group most at risk of going missing - teenagers.

The first alert was sent the day the campaign went live. A young female from Queensland, was found the next day. Since the launch, 95% of Disappearing Person Alerts assisted in the person being found.