O&M Hong Kong uses DNA testing to put a face to litterbugs

Campaign to raise awareness for Hong Kong CleanUp Initiative on Global Earth Day

The Face of Litter

Hong Kong, April 22, 2015 – Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong (Ogilvy) has launched a city-wide campaign for the Hong Kong CleanUp Initiative organised by Ecozine and The Nature Conservancy. The campaign, entitled ‘The Face of Litter’, has launched in conjunction with Global Earth Day.

With a staggering sixteen thousand tons of waste dumped in Hong Kong every day, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the extent of littering across the city, pinpoint those responsible and encourage people to change their behaviour.

Turning to science for answers, Ogilvy has targeted key locations in Hong Kong to collect, analyse and create DNA-based composites of the perpetrators. By combining the expertise of US-based research centres and advanced Snapshot™ DNA phenotyping provided by ParabonNanoLabs, data has been used to create a visual representation of the person who has littered. Because age is impossible to determine through DNA alone, but still integral in creating an accurate portrait, DNA data has been combined with other factors, such as demographics based on the type of litter and where it was collected to determine the approximate age of the litterer.

Reed Collins, Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong, said, “This campaign is one of a kind. 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 newly available DNA technology we can now put a face to this anonymous crime and get people to think twice about littering.”

Lisa Christensen, Founder and CEO of The Hong Kong Cleanup said, "We are thrilled to be part of this innovative campaign, which is sure to have a positive impact on people and the community. Last year, during the six-week Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge, 418 teams comprising 51,064 participants, collected a total of 3,894,000 kgs of litter from city streets, coastal area's and country trails. Sadly, we suffer from a serious 'pick up after me' mentality, and this simply must change."

Rafael Guida, Executive Creative Director OgilvyOne Hong Kong, added, “While this method may not identify specific individuals, it will be enough to make people think twice about littering. The campaign combines a public service message with science and technology, enabling us to communicate with Hongkongers in a very different way.”

Poster portraits of perpetrators will be placed across the city as well as online. To create further awareness, Ogilvy will also be promoting a video that demonstrates the experiment and warns people not to litter at the risk of becoming the next face of the campaign.

View the video here: https://vimeo.com/124896310


Reed Collins – Chief Creative Officer
Rafael Guida – Executive Creative Director,OgilvyOne
Jim Fong – Creative Director, OgilvyOne
Craig Mason – Head of Creative Technology
Viko Wong – Business Director, OgilvyOne
Carey Pearson – Group Account Director, Advertising
Sincere Ng – Account Manager, OgilvyOne
Mikyung Kim – Head of TV, Hogarth

About Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. It was named the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for three consecutive years, 2012, 2013, and 2014; and the EFFIEs World's Most Effective Agency Network for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013. The company is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; health care communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 500 offices in 126 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit http://www.ogilvy.com/, or follow Ogilvy on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on Facebook.com/Ogilvy.

Press Contact
Anna Mugglestone, Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong
anna.mugglestone@ogilvy.com +852 2884 8685

About The Hong Kong Cleanup
Hong Kong Cleanup is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, together with organizer Ecozine and co-organizer The Nature Conservancy. The Challenge has become a civc movement, and is being hailed as the regions largest volunteer environmental event. It has engaged over 200,000 Hong Kong people in cleaning up litter from our beautiful coastlines, country parks and urban areas. The campaign is raising awareness, empowering citizens, advocating for change and collecting data to help reduce our waste at source. www.HKcleanup.org.

Date: April 22, 2015
Office: Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong