The Ben Kinsella Trust releases AI-based campaign to stop knife crime ahead of Mother’s Day

The Ben Kinsella Trust has unveiled an innovative AI machine-learning campaign ahead of Mother’s Day, to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime.

Developed in collaboration with creative agency M&C Saatchi London and media firm Clear Channel UK, the campaign shines a light on the fact that on Mother’s Day last year 315 people were admitted to hospital with knife-related injuries.

The initiative highlights the thoughts that go through a mother’s mind whenever she hears the sound of an ambulance siren.

In a reported world first, M&C Saatchi London worked with Clear Channel to develop a machine learning system which was trained to understand what an ambulance siren sounds like. When the digital-out-of-home (DOOH) posters featured in the campaign hear sirens, the technology installed is triggered to show powerful messages between mothers and their sons.

The intention is to make the connection between ambulances and the genuine worry mothers have when they suspect their son is in danger.

As well as AI-driven technology, the campaign also includes nearly 1,000 live digital billboards and Adshels across the UK, showcasing the thoughts and fears of mothers, while also asking sons not to carry a knife this Mother’s Day.

“It’s been 15 years since we lost Ben and the pain of his loss has never gone away,” sister to Ben Kinsella, Brooke Kinsella, said. “Nobody should ever have to receive a phone call telling them that their loved one has been involved in a knife-related incident.”

“Our campaign highlights the unique bond that exists between young men and their mum. Using text messages from mothers making emotional pleas to their sons, this innovative campaign will reach young men and make them think about the impact their decisions will have on those they love, so they stay safe and don’t carry a knife.”

The campaign is also accompanied by a 2-minute spot and organic social media activity.

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M&C Saatchi London creative partner, Guy Bradbury, added: “Much of the dialogue around knife crime is focused on those who are directly involved, or on the government’s response. In this campaign we wanted to shine a light on its devastating impact on those who are left behind, handing over poster sites to the one person our audience might listen to: their mums.”

Clear Channel head of creative delivery, Jonathan Acton, concluded: “As soon as we heard about this amazing idea, we knew we had to build it. By using machine learning we have enabled the digital out-of-home bus shelters to adapt the creative to change when they ‘hear’ a siren. We’re using technology to bring this important campaign message to life in a dynamic way that has never been done before, to really engage passers-by.”

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