Ad Nut
Feb 25, 2019

Think this image is scary? You should see the myopia statistics

A pro bono campaign led by IPG Mediabrands aims to raise awareness in the 'myopia capital of the world".

If myopia had a visible symptom like the nightmarish one depicted in this Singapore ad campaign, more people would be aware of it and acting to stop it.

And if that were the case, then this pro bono campaign—launching today and running for eight weeks in OOH, print, digital, TV, radio and social media—wouldn't be necessary. However, awareness of both the preponderance and preventability of the condition remains low. Especially given that as many as eight in 10 kids in the city that some call the 'myopia capital of the world' will develop the condition.

The 'See past the screen' campaign comes to us from IPG Mediabrands, working with its CSR partner Plano (see "IPG Mediabrands partners with Plano to focus on long-term fight against myopia"), strategy-led design agency FST, and with the support of industry partners.

A social-media call to action asks people to post a selfie holding a smartphone in front of their eyes, to symbolise the danger of being blinded by our devices. That may sound like alarmism, but according to Plano, the younger children are when they develop myopia, the more at risk they are of developing 'high myopia', which has far more serious effects, including irreversible blindness.

“All of the key stakeholders in this campaign are pro-technology," Leigh Terry, CEO of IPG Mediabrands APAC, said in a release. "It’s the misuse of technology that is causing a major issue. As an industry with digital at the heart we recognise a responsibility to bring awareness to this."

Bus-shelter ad (click to enlarge)

MediaCorp, SPH, Clear Channel, JCD, MooveMedia, Adello, and Amobee have collectively donated more than $700,000 of media inventory to support the campaign. FST produced the creative concept and all media assets, with retouching from Pop-35. The campaign messaging was developed in collaboration between IPG Mediabrands, FST and Plano, and the campaign has been supported by the Singapore Health Promotion Board. Campaign pre and post measurement was provided by Milieu.

Ad Nut likes a simple idea, well executed, on behalf of a good cause. The visual makes Ad Nut's skin crawl a little, and that's the idea.

Conversation around Ad Nut's old oak tree when this came in this morning revolved around whether parents in Asia warn their kids that too much TV/screen time will give them 'square eyes'. But Ad Nut thinks the message comes across with or without that prior knowledge. Hopefully people will heed it and send their kids outside to play (exposure to sunlight helps prevent the condition).

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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