Anti-Littering Campaign Uses DNA to Identify Litterbugs and Put Their Faces on Ads

Science to the rescue

Thinking of littering in Hong Kong? You could soon be a poster child for the problem.

A remarkable campaign from Ogilvy & Mather takes DNA from trash on the ground and uses Snapshot DNA phenotyping to generate physical likenesses of the litterers, who then end up on outdoor ads telling people not to litter. (DNA phenotyping is the process of predicting a person's physical appearance based on their DNA alone.)

The legalities of labeling people as litterers this way must be awfully complicated, and it's not entirely clear how close the images might be to the real people. But the campaign is certainly fascinating in a CSI kind of way.

"This campaign is one of a kind," says Reed Collins, chief creative officer at Ogilvy Hong Kong. "It's interactive. It's innovative. It's our own science experiment that we're using to create social change. Litter is such a major problem in Hong Kong, and thanks to technology, we can now put a face to this anonymous crime and get people to think twice about littering."

Read more at Ecozine. Via Laughing Squid.