Ad of the Day: Y&R Ages Car-Crash Victims to Show What They’d Look Like Today

3-D portraits from New Zealand

Any road-safety campaign that uses actual victims in its advertising is bound to be difficult for the families involved. This latest, from Y&R New Zealand, is no exception. Indeed, it's crushingly sad—even if it's also starkly beautiful.

The road-safety charity Brake partnered with Y&R for the campaign, timed to National Road Safety Week in New Zealand. To get people to think about the potential cost of their decisions on the road, the agency took photographs of five crash victims, and using a forensic age-progression specialist, created incredible 3-D models of what they might look like in 2015, years after they died.

Forensic specialist Kevin Darch worked off childhood and family photos to create a current-day artistic impression of each child. Weta Digital then digitally sculpted a 3-D portrait model, with fine detail such as eyelashes, eyebrows, skin tone and texture. The portraits were then photographed for print ads.

The point of the "Living Memories" project, of course, is to physically illustrate exactly what was lost—each person's entire future. It must have been terribly sad for the families to see these models, even though the case study shows them being more intrigued than freshly devastated.

"Meeting the families and presenting them the portraits was a profoundly moving experience, and I hope that this campaign will touch people in a meaningful way," says Lisa Dupre, senior art director at Y&R NZ.

"Road crashes have devastating consequences for families and the effects last a lifetime," adds Caroline Perry, development director at Brake. "The aim with this campaign is to look not only at lost lives, but also lost potential and lost futures. Living Memories has given these five families an opportunity to see what their child might have looked like, and demonstrates to the rest of us the lasting impact that crashes have."


Client: Brake

Development Director: Caroline Perry

Agency: Y&R NZ

CCO / CEO: Josh Moore

Creative Director: Scott Henderson, Seymour Pope

Senior Art Director: Lisa Dupre

Head Producer: Christina Hazard

Account Director: Claire Dooney

Account Manager: Chelsea Dowling

Senior Media Planner: Kylee Davidson-Corrin

Designers: James Wendelborn, Kate Whitley

Executive Digital Producer: Bruce Murray

Digital Producer: Pat Co

Head of Motion Graphics: Michael Frogley

National Ideas Director: Jason Wells

General Manager: Grant Maxwell

Managing Director – Wgtn Tim Ellis


Digital production company: Weta Digital

Editor: James (Squid) Kelly, Pat O'Sullivan

DOP: Will Moore


Forensic specialist: Kevin Darch

TVNZ: Joanne Mitchell, Briar McCormack

Researcher: Alison Horwood

Freelance reporter: Amanda Miller

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