You might want to think twice before tossing your garbage on the ground in Hong Kong. Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather came up with an ingenious, albeit creepy, way to combat littering. Using DNA lifted off actual litter and Snapshot DNA phenotyping, the campaign was able to recreate the faces of litterbugs. The culprits' likenesses were then used as a stern PSA against littering.
‘The Face of Litter” campaign is the result of a partnership between Hong Kong Cleanup, Ecozine and The Nature Conservancy. It was appropriately launched on Earth Day and utilizes a variety of media platforms, including bus stops and print. The hope is that people will improve their habits after seeing their peers being publicly shamed.
“This campaign is one of a kind, Reed Collins,” Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong, said. “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.”
As Adweek points out, the legality of this campaign is probably a little murky, but it’s unclear how accurate the facial recreations really are. Regardless, the Big Brother-esque campaign is enough to scare even the most stubborn litterer straight.