A mangled toy on the road
The door of a home left ajar
Not mere objects or sights
These could be remnants
of a child gone too far

In the milieu of days observed, there comes a day that jolts us from our perceived reality and introduces us to a harsher one, where the twinkle in the eyes of a child is replaced with fear and his smile wiped with a perpetual frown. Such is the International Missing Children’s Day.

Observed annually on 25th of May, this day sheds a compelling spotlight on the countless children who have gone missing. The history of this day follows the unfortunate disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz on 25th May 1979 from New York City. Like Etan, several thousand children go missing from railway stations, bus terminals and the likes.

Months and years since the day, we have spearheaded efforts towards rescue, intervention, rehabilitation of missing children and their eventual reunion with their families. Bringing the plight of these missing children before the general populous and further highlighting the work of organizations are some outstanding advertisements.

In an attempt to spread awareness about the International Missing Children’s Day, below listed are 7 such advertisements that promise to compel you take a second glance at the abandoned teenager ambling on the railway platform and enquiring about his/her safety.

Created for a brand ‘Missing Children’ in Argentina back in August 2008, this public interest ad’s striking image hits hard and makes us think of those children who were found and the many who are still missing. 

‘Did you see her?’ is a campaign that urges us as the public and bystanders to keep a watch out for children. It helps evoke the same emotion of a parent whose child has gone missing, putting us in their shoes and nudging us to become participants in the act of reaching children at the risk of going missing forever.


A special campaign ‘Keep hope alive’ initiated to commemorate the 21st International Missing Children’s Day, highlights a website that could only be kept alive by citizens—just like the collective hope for the return of missing children.

Embodying all missing children, this moving campaign ‘the missing stamp’ depicts the void that enters the lives of the parents of a missing child through their powerful graphics – the absence of a central design element, focussing on the emotional side of these stories.

Crosswords are hard, and finding a name in a crowded crossword even harder. This print medium campaign serves as an impactful reminder of the desperate nature of the tragedy of a child going missing and all the work that goes into bringing them home, seeking support from the public in helping find missing children by calling on the helpline.  

Reinventing traditional designs of posters for missing children, this campaign adopted a high-impact live portrait that blinked, smiled and changed facial expressions to further enhance the memory of the viewer.

With the help of  Samar Minallah Khan, her team of truck artists, and BBDO, a campaign was designed which aimed to find missing children by painting their portraits on the backs of trucks and having the trucks drive all around Pakistan.