This YouTube Pre-Roll Ad Actually Makes The World A Better Place


This is the 11th in the 17-part series “Video Revolution,” which brings you up to speed on innovations in the video advertising industry. “Video Revolution” is brought to you by Innovid. More posts in the series »

While YouTube watchers sometimes groan at pre-roll, ad agency
VML worked with the Australian police to create a digital video advertisementthat 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.

Watch how the missing persons pre-roll worked below:

The Missing Person Pre-Roll from VML on Vimeo.

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