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How Proximity Russia Teamed with Uber to Help Find Missing Children

UberSEARCH campaign results in safe return of Yana, a 15-year-old child who had been missing

How Proximity Russia Teamed with Uber to Help Find Missing Children

In 2016, Uber and Proximity (BBDO Russia Group) launched UberSEARCH — an experimental way to search for missing children in a big city by placing portraits of them on cars. The campaign resulted in finding Yana, a 15-year-old child who had been missing.

A lot of Russian car owners put attention-grabbing visual art on their vehicles, not only to show-off, but also to protect against car thieves. Cars with artwork on them attract so much attention that if they do get stolen, they are easy to spot . But posters of missing children and search campaigns often go unnoticed, while according to the Russian Missing Children Organization, 70% of success in search for missing children depends on finding witnesses.

Uber teamed up with Proximity (BBDO Russia Group) to use car art to attract the attention of potential witnesses and help find children. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Missing Children Organization provided cases of three missing children. Their portraits were then placed on Uber cars, whose owners volunteered to help to find the children.

“In Russia, photos of missing children are often displayed in very poor quality, and traditional posters have a very limited reach. We asked artists to draw eye-catching artworks based on the photos given by the police, and instead of using airbrush and painting the cars, we used printed car stickers to place these artworks on Uber cars. Thus we decreased the time and money spent on production while ensuring the eye-catchiness of the artworks”, said Proximity representative.

Uber also sent out notifications through its app with the information about the UberSEARCH campaign.

In less than two hours after the launch the faces of the missing children appeared on popular Russian websites, were featured on federal TV channels and kicked off conversations and posts across social media platforms. The campaign helped the police locate the whereabouts of Yana, one of the three missing children UberSEARCH was looking for. Yana was then found and is now safe.

“Our idea was very unusual, but it worked! We also received an inquiry from another transportation service to join the project on a volunteer basis,” said Dmitry Vtorov, Head of the Missing Children Organization.


Advertiser: Uber

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Proximity (BBDO Russia Group)

Creative Director: Mihai Coliban, Ilya Andreyev

Copywriter: Yura Kabasin

Art Director: Kin Loong Lee (Sean)

Producer: Valery Gorokhov

Designer: Julia Belyakova

Project Manager: Anza Randriambeloson

Illustrator: Bang Bang Studio

Account Manager: Alena Zhukova

Account Director: Alexander Makarovsky

Production Company

Director: Alexey Belov

DOP: Konstantin Mazov


Editor: Yurii Karih

Category: Corporate and social , Social