Creative in association withGear Seven

Boys and Girls Unveils Stark New Barnardos Campaign 'Lost'

Advertising Agency
Dublin, Ireland
Socially-conscious campaign aims to raise awareness about lost children and includes an immersive 360 degree film, a 60 second TVC and a suite of 24 posters
“Children are precious. Yet as a society we are failing them. No child in Ireland should experience poverty, neglect or not have a home. This work is about getting people to stop and think about these issues and support Barnardos in changing these children's lives.”

That’s according to Laurence O’Byrne, Creative Director at award winning Dublin creative agency Boys and Girls describing their new campaign for Barnardos, the children’s charity that transform children’s lives through their services; support parents; and challenge society where it fails children. 

The campaign launches Barnardos new organisation platform and goes live on 21st February 2018.

It shines a light on the injustices that children in Ireland face everyday and that result in childhoods being lost - lost to Child Homelessness, Child Poverty and Child Neglect.

A call to action in the advertising calls on people to take notice, take responsibility and “Join the search at

The campaign includes an immersive 360 degree film that puts you in control of searching for a lost child, a 60 second TV commercial and a suite of 24 Lost posters for Outdoor and Social. The central idea behind the work is that there is nothing more terrifying than a child being lost. Even just for a moment. But in Ireland, Barnardos calculates that One in Seven children are being lost every day to issues like homelessness, poverty and neglect. And we as a society are not doing enough to help find them.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said: “For too long children have not been a priority politically, and childhood itself has not been valued as it should be – as the most important time of a person’s life. Thanks to a generous legacy gift, Barnardos was in a position to engage an agency to work with us to create a campaign to grab people’s attention and make people stop and think.  Boys and Girls have been fantastic partners during this process, in both their ambition to create a strong campaign and in their drive to deliver powerful assets that will not only grab the attention of the audience, but deliver real change”.

“Everything we do is about creating great work that works.”, said Chris Upton, Business Director and co-founder at Boys and Girls, “And we are very grateful for this opportunity to partner with Barnardos to raise awareness of their great work, and most importantly to help bring about the changes needed so that all children in Ireland are valued.”

When a child goes missing we do all we can to find them. But as a society, we have failed to notice the children being lost every day. And because we have failed to notice, we have failed to act. To replicate the experience and emotional journey of losing a child, Boys and Girls used the latest 360 technology to create a 2 minute film that makes the viewer part of a search for a missing child through their mobile or desktop. Beginning in an everyday situation of a mother in a busy train station getting tickets, she turns around to find that her child “Ciara” is no longer beside her and is lost.  The viewer has the ability to look all around the train station to help Ciara’s mother on her heart-stopping search before she’s finally re-united with her daughter.  The film then pauses to alert the viewer that “Ciara” wasn’t the only child lost. By looking around the station again, the viewer realises that there were three other children who were also lost. But although Ciara’s mum found her, there is no one to find these children unless Barnardos has your help. The children shown are actors, however the individual stories are based on real life cases where children have been lost to homelessness, poverty and neglect.

This tells the same story as the 360 film and the viewer is brought through the tense search within the busy train station. In this format, we discover the three other lost children through a dramatic pause moment when they are framed within posters with the headline of LOST and featuring their fictional names, pictures but real-life stories. 

Boys and Girls has adopted a radical approach to Outdoor. Creating what they have described as a visual STOP sign, they stripped posters of their typical design and polish to create a style that looks torn, weather-beaten and abandoned.

What’s left are 24 real stories of children as young as one and as old as sixteen. These posters will run across all outdoor formats and illustrate 24 case studies of children helped by Barnardos (but not showing their real identities, photo’s or names in the posters).

Rory Hamilton, Executive Creative Director and co-founder at Boys and Girls said: “Barnardos do important work, but people don't always take notice. With this campaign we wanted to force them to - by using technology to put them in the shoes of a parent who has lost a child. 

Making them act, and then showing them all the children lost to poverty, homelessness and neglect. We are really proud of this campaign because like Barnardos, we believe that no child should be lost.”  

Client Team 
CEO - Fergus Finlay  
Director of Support Services at Barnardos Ireland - Jacki Conway  
Communications Manager - Rachel Boyce  
Head of Advocacy and Supporter Engagement - June Tinsley  
Director of Fundraising - Mary Gamble  
Fundraising Manager - Seán Bergin  
Campaigns Officer - Sinead Corcoran  
Head of Digital and Content - Jean O’Brien  
Director of Children’s Services - Suzanne Connolly  

Agency : Boys & Girls 
Executive Creative Director – Rory Hamilton 
Creative Director – Laurence O’Byrne 
Copywriter – Kris Clarkin 
Junior Copywriter - Georgia Murphy
Art Director – Mikey Fleming 

Business Director – Chris Upton 
Account Director – Ottilie Culloty 
Senior Account Manager – Sorcha Brady 
Account Executive – Chloe Bolton 
Head of Strategy – Margaret Gilsenan 
Senior Planner – Chloe Hanratty 
Digital Strategist – Aoife Murphy 
Head of Production – Derek Doyle 
Producer – Sarah Chadwick 
Designers: Cian O Connell, Maxi Mc Donnell, Barry Smith, Trevor Nolan 
Head of Digital – Shane Casey 

Production Company – The Sweetshop
Director – Ben Dawkins 
Executive Producer – Spencer Dodd 
Producer – Ben Mann 
Production Manager – Rachael Donson 
DOP – M7 Virtual 
Post-Production – Glassworks 
Composer – Echolab 

Web Bureau
Senior Digital Account Manager - Diane Murphy 

Senior Digital Account Manager (Strategy) - Gavin McKechnie 

Media Agency - Mindshare
Chief Operating Officer - Ken Nolan 
Account Director - Peter Flanagan 
Account Manager - Oisin Fahy 
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