Monsters come out to play with children at Halloween but it’s all in fun. Unfortunately, the monsters that come out to play every day of the year, don’t play for fun, and the scariest of these are the monsters that children know – often a family member or someone close to the family and sometimes by a trusted adult friend.
The Missing Children Society of Canada calls these the everyday monsters and agencies, KBS New York and KBS Montreal, are using Halloween as an opportunity to make people aware that of the 45,609 Canadian children reported missing in 2016, their abductors are likely to be people with whom the children have a pre-existing relationship.
KBS created a Halloween mask that represents this scariest monster of all – The Everyday Monster. It’s a true-to-life composite face created using a database of convicted child abductors. And it’s frighteningly “normal”.
The face itself was first created using photo recognition AI and a composite of facial feature data points compiled from a publicly-available database of mugshots from 78 different child abductors. The face was then turned into a mask by hand, by Trick of Treat Studios’ Chris Russell.
“We created The Everyday Monster to call attention to the fact that cases of missing children are not limited to strictly Amber Alerts and the stereotype of strangers driving white unmarked cargo vans,” explained MCSC chief executive officer, Amanda Pick.
“Children are reported missing every day and those cases include Vulnerable Youth, Endangered Runaways and even being abducted by a non-custodial parent.”
The Everyday Monster project included digital video, rich media and traditional posters. All data analytics, facial reconstruction, and content production were handled in-house by KBS.
The campaign supports MCSC’s investment in creating ground-breaking technology platforms to assist law enforcement in their search and rescue efforts. The Missing Children Society of Canada is the only non-profit organisation in Canada that uses an in-house team of former law enforcement to actively investigate and search for missing children. It has been running since 1986.
MCSC’s Code Search an enterprise platform corporations can use to engage employees as Digital Volunteers to assist in the search for a missing child. Its Most Valuable Network allows people to donate their social network feeds to amplify missing child alerts in real-time as soon as they happen.
Last year, Microsoft signed on as a global technology partner to help scale the organisation’s efforts and to assist MCSC in partnering their technology solutions with other missing children organisations worldwide. Microsoft is also currently working on a new mobile innovation targeted specifically at vulnerable youth and endangered runaways. This will be available for download across North America in 2018.