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These Reflective Posters Show Parents How To Spot Children's Eye Cancer

A flash photo provides a vivid lesson for parents in early detection of a childhood disease.

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A series of interactive posters printed using reflective ink shows parents how they can simply check their child for eye cancer by using flash photography in a new campaign launched in the U.K. today by Wunderman for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

Each of the four posters features a close up shot of the eye of a real child who has survived retinoblastoma—an aggressive, deadly eye cancer which mainly affects young children. Though a fast-growing cancer, detection can save the child’s life and possibly prevent removal of the eye.

People are invited to take a picture of the poster on their smartphones or other cameras using a flash.

When the image is viewed, the pupil of the eye appears bright white in the photo—in contrast to the seemingly healthy-looking eye in the poster. Such a white mark on a flash photograph of a young child is one indicator of a possible eye tumor.

The posters which will appear in GPs' offices, baby clinics and child care centers from December 8 will be supported by an online film and social media campaign designed to raise awareness and offer further information about childhood eye cancer.

Parents are also being encouraged to share photos of their own children and the demo video on Twitter and other social channels, using the hashtag #haveyouCHECT.

"CHECT talks a lot about the importance of early detection, yet there seems to be a widespread lack of awareness about the cancer, how to detect it and what signs to look for," Wunderman associate creative director Evan Jones explains.

"Flash photography has been recognized as a key to diagnosis for quite some time. What immediately struck us, though, was the power parents have to see the warning signs themselves using something they carry around with them all day, everyday: their smartphone."

The creative idea may sound simple, but execution was anything but, associate creative director Stefanie Digianvincenzo reveals.

"We spent six months developing this to ensure not just that the posters would work with any kind of camera with a flash, but that the reflective ink we chose to use would produce the right kind of bright white," she says.

In the end, the team opted for an ink containing small, reflective metallic flakes which reflects bright white when a camera’s flash hits it. Digianvincenzo adds: "It was essential the image you get from the poster is genuinely what a parent taking a picture of their own child might see."