It’s a pretty brilliant idea: an ad that from an adult’s perspective shows the face of a normal looking boy, but when seen from the point of view of a child, it hides a secret message. These street ads, created in Spain, use lenticular printing to conceal a child abuse hotline number that can only be seen from the average height of a 10-year-old child. From the child’s perspective, the face of the boy on the ad also becomes marred with bruises. The mechanics of lenticular printing are similar to what you may remember from those rulers and postcards that change their image depending on how you tilt them.
The use of this technology to create an anti-child abuse ad is very effective, however it’s likely that the power of the ad is in its ability to stun viewers and raise awareness rather than help abused children reach out for assistance. The writing at the top of the ad, visible to both adults and children, reads, “child abuse sometimes is visible only to the child who suffers,” making it clear what the ad is about. If the creators of the ad really wanted to deliver a secret message to abused children, they’d disguise the ad as a commercial for juice or car insurance so the adult–and potential aggressor–accompanying the child would be none the wiser.
Still, the ad is powerful and can help abused children find hope just by letting them know that someone out there is looking out for their well being.
Watch the video below to see the ad in action.