Thursday, 21 May 2015

Shame Masks

I must admit that I don't worry too much about privacy. Maybe I should, but somehow I don't get the feeling that the NSA or anyone else is terribly interested in what I'm up to. But every now and then I see a piece of brand communication that makes me gulp.

Like this one.

What's going on here is a campaign from an initiative called Hong Kong Cleanup, whose agency Ogilvy and Mather has developed an undeniably clever campaign called The Face of Litter to deter litter louts on the streets of Hong Kong.

What they've done is to collect random litter samples and analyse them using Snapshot DNA phenotyping to create portraits of the culprits (or, presumably anyone that has touched that coffee cup including the friendly and responsible barista who handed it out).

There's not enough info to say exactly whodunnit, but enough to create a likeness on posters and online.


My first thought was this might be just the thing for publicity-seeking extroverts to get their next kick. The ultimate selfie, all over town and all over the net.

And then my thoughts ran deeper to tarring and feathering, or the shaved heads and placards round the necks of wartime collaborators, or indeed the Schandmaske of mediaeval Germany.

Back to the future? I find it all a little sinister.


Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Sue,
Part of me thinks this is a good idea, but I can see the pitfalls.

If I see someone dropping litter in the street, I tap the person responsible on the shoulder and say, “excuse me I think you've dropped something” surprise alone is usual enough to make them pick it up. They probably think I’m a nutty old woman, and no doubt chuck it back down as soon as my back is turned, but if it shames one person into thinking about what they are doing that will be enough.

Sue Imgrund said...

That's brave of you! I am sometimes tempted to do the same.

Barbara Fisher said...

A big smile usually helps, but don’t put yourself in any danger. My husband tends to walk the other way if he spots what I’m about to do!