Women’s Aid: Look At Me inter­ac­tive billboard

Exhibited by
July 14, 2016
Medium of Communication
Billboards, TV, PR
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Women, Domestic Violence, Social change,
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
March, 2015

SOFII’s view

This award-winning campaign used interactive outdoor digital technology and experiential marketing together with a well-targeted PR campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence. We think this a truly creative use of cutting edge technology by a charity.

Summary / objectives

Digital billboard firm Ocean Outdoor wanted to showcase the potential of its products and were offering £100,000 of free media for the idea that best exploited the medium. WCRS won the competition with it’s creative work for Women’s Aid that uses facial recognition technology available on Ocean’s billboards.


Domestic violence will affect one in four women in their lifetime. Yet it so often goes unnoticed and unreported. 

The campaign, entitled ‘Look at Me’ depicts a beaten and bruised woman.  As long as people ignored the screen the woman’s face stays the same. But it would only take one person stopping to look at the screen and the woman’s bruises would begin to heal. The more people who stopped to look, the more the woman’s face would return to normal. 

In a world’s first, people looking at the digital screens triggers an immediate change in the creative using facial recognition technology and the gaze tracking element of the system to trigger or superimpose content for live playback in real time on the screens. Across the bottom of the billboard webcam footage appeared in ‘ticker-tape’ style showing everyone passing by in real time registering the progress and increasing number of viewers. 

The interactive billboard for Women’s Aid was designed to demonstrate how we should all change our behaviour in order to tackle domestic violence. The digital ad developed with WCRS and Ocean also used the donated services of the photographer Rankin and several makeup artists.

It was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day and aimed to raise awareness of how the domestic violence charity Women’s Aid saves lives. Two women every week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid said

'Domestic violence is experienced by hundreds of thousands of women every year, but many feel unable to tell anyone because they think that they won’t be believed or that people won’t understand. These women live in an invisible prison: controlled and harmed by the person who should love them most.'

In order to encourage people to actually notice the billboards as they walked past, the campaign used GeoWave to serve mobile push notifications to passers-by in the vicinity. These mobile messages also linked through to a donation-driving microsite.

The campaign was supported with additional static and full motion digital screens across Ocean’s estate and with television spots on Channel 4, featuring the voice of Julie Walters. All of the creative encouraged viewers to text ‘CHANGE’ to 70500 to donate £5 to Women’s Aid.


  • Average time people spent looking at the posters was 349 per cent higher than the previous average measured across the same sites.
  • 2,500 per cent increase in people stopping to watch for more than 10 seconds.
  • PR reach of 326.9m people, with 70 broadcasters, newspapers and online portals covering the campaign. 
  • Media companies from all quarters of the consumer press – from Mashable and Upworthy to The Telegraph, Time Out and Huffington Post – ran the story.
  • Coverage in 20 countries, from Australia to Russia, with prime-time bulletins on American news stations NBC, CBS and ABC.
  • 86.7m impressions on Twitter alone.