That’s the underlying message of this ad for E-Comm, the organization that manages emergency “9-1-1” calls in the Vancouver region of Canada. Using a custom QR code, the ad asks smartphone users to use their reader apps to uncover the reality of this scary-looking scene:
The text under the landing page image reads:
NOT THIS TIME.
For 9-1-1 operators, the difference between singing and screaming can be a tough call. Every accidental call takes resources away from helping those with real emergencies.
Help us prevent accidental calls to 9-1-1 by following these tips:
Lock your keypad and secure your phone in a case before you put it in your pocket or toss it in your purse.
Don’t pre-program 9-1-1 into any phone.
If you dial 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line and let the call-taker know.
Share these tips to help us help.
The resolution image shows a smartphone user accidentally dialling 911 during a hairbrush singalong (even though it’s motionless in her knapsack?) but the interaction of decoding the partial image feels more like a message that the caller has misinterpreted something they’ve seen or heard as an emergency.
While perhaps unintentional, this impression runs contrary to the vigilance recommended by anti-domestic-violence campaigns (like this excellent 2010 one from London Metropolitan Police).
The follow-up message about preventing misdails, as opposed to mistaken impressions, seems like much more practical advice. But is the clever creative leading viewers down the wrong path?
Station X, Vancouver, Canada
Creative Director: Josh Budd
Art Director: Heather Thrash
Copywriter: Jeff Wasiluk
Designer: Laure Stromboni
Illustrator: Chris Koehler
Producer: Lisa Etchells
Production Designer: Rhoderick Lising
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