For their eyes only

By Efrosini Costa

For their eyes only
A street poster with a hidden message that only children can decipher is being used to target youngsters in need.

Revolutionary lenticular printing, often used to create a 3D effect, is the latest technology being tried to target children who may be victims of abuse.

The non-profit Aid for Adolescents at Risk (ANAR) Foundation, a Spanish charity organisation, has employed the technology to create public advertisements that display different images at different angles.

The advertisment, which has made world headlines, enables children under the age of 10 to see a secret message at their level of sight.

The campaign was designed to enable children to get important information about where to find help when even when being accompanied by their aggressor.

The complete message on the street poster is only visible to children. When a child views the image they see, the message (translated from Spanish) ‘ If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you’ accompanied by a telephone number. All that an adult sees when viewing the poster is an image of a frightened child.

“It is a message exclusively for them, hidden from adult’s eyes” the organisation behind the poster said.

“It uses a lenticular to combine two images, and we have calculated an area visible only by children under ten – and a warning for adults,” they added.

The foundation hopes that the ‘secret message’ will help children gain confidence to call for help. Their concern was that the traditional methods used in public campaigns enabled adults to dissuade or help children ‘avoid’ seeing important messages.

Lenticular printing has existed for several decades and is most popularly used for animated stickers. But recent improvements to the technology mean a greater illusion of depth can be achieved. The result is a 3D effect that does not require special glasses to be deciphered.

While many view the ad campaign as inventive and clever, some critics fear that the designers fail to take into consideration that the children will not realise that their aggressors do not see the same image. This, they argue, could cause the children to feel that they are at increased risk of abuse or make them to afraid to take action.

Others pointed out that the campaign could see advertising companies and manufacturers employ the same technology as public awareness campaign, to encourage youngsters to buy their products.


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