An Anti-Abuse Ad With A Secret Message Only Children Can See

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In order to discreetly reach abused children, one aid organization designed a clever billboard that only displays a hotline number for people shorter than 4’5″. The secret is a precisely serrated surface, a Lenticular lens, that reflects light differently to those looking from above and below a specified height. Shorter people (children) see the following message on a street sign: “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you,” along with a confidential number to call the Spanish organization, Aid to Children and Adolescents.

Adults see, “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” The ad is especially designed for children who may be traveling with their abuser.

Lenticular lens have been a popular gimmick for decades, from toy rulers to a Species II movie poster (below) that changes images as a pedestrian walks passed it.


In the future, we could imagine more advanced warning systems. IBM is reportedly developing ads that remotely targets a user’s individual interests, based on radio frequency-enabled cards that they expect consumers will carry with them. Similarly, malls can now track users’ cell phone signal as they travel from store to store for marketing data. It’s not hard to imagine a billboard beaming abuse-notification messages to a child’s cell phone, or, more discretely, to a technology like Google Glass.

For an explanation of the ad, watch the video above.