British nonprofit Missing People wants some of the millions of Pokemon Go players traipsing the country to be on the look out for something other than cartoon creatures: actual humans.
An outdoor campaign from the organization, which helps search for missing persons and provides support to them and their loved ones, repurposes iconography from the popular augmented reality game, which requires users to rove their cities for digital creatures in real-world locations.
The campaign, launched during a Pokemon Go event in Trafalgar Square, drew a crowd some 4,000 strong. Working with BBH Barn, the Publicis agency's internship program, Missing People created posters featuring the faces and names of those "missing near here," wrapped inside Pokeballs, the imaginary tools used to trap Pokemon.
The posters appeared in high-traffic locales like London's Waterloo train station, and other areas players frequent. Some were even placed on the ground, to better capture the attention of passersby staring down at their phones.
It's a clever way for the group to capitalize on the craze while raising awareness for its own cause. What's more, Pokemon Go's wandering players seem like particularly good candidates for keeping an eye out for missing persons—at first blush, anyway.
Nobody really believes the game's fans are going to put down the object of their amusement in favor of something that matters—but who knows what they'll stumble onto on their way to the next gym? Even one success would make the effort worth it.