Israeli volunteers from diverse professional backgrounds have swiftly repurposed the creative agency Gitam BBDO in response to a pressing need for rescuing 203 hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza.
This transformation involves a dynamic adaptation of the agency’s resources and expertise for a humanitarian mission amid the ongoing conflict initiated by Hamas against Israel.
Gitam BBDO, a leading creative agency in Tel Aviv, has rapidly transitioned into a dedicated “war room” manned by committed volunteers who have temporarily set aside their regular responsibilities to contribute to the urgent rescue efforts.
The hostages were captured amidst the conflict, characterised by deliberate targeting of civilians in what has been termed an “open-air prison.”
This mission is led by Refael Franco, founder of Code Blue, a cyber-crisis management company.
The “War Room” operates on two floors, each serving a specific function.
One team focuses on garnering global support through various awareness campaigns, featuring notable personalities like Mayim Bialik from “The Big Bang Theory.”
These initiatives, aided by Artificial Intelligence translation, have garnered widespread attention and support transcending language barriers.
The technologically advanced second floor employs facial recognition tools and AI to track the hostages and pinpoint their last known locations within Gaza.
Drawing upon information from social media platforms within Gaza, the team compiles digital profiles by analysing elements like communication behaviours, application usage, and the frequency of particular emojis on the captives’ devices.
Support from Tech Giants
The collaboration with tech giants such as Google and Microsoft has contributed to the success of this initiative.
“We collaborated between start-ups within face recognition and business intelligence. Most importantly, we got support from giant tech companies like Google and Microsoft which are helping us now.”
The diverse pool of volunteers, spanning disciplines like AI, facial recognition, geolocation, and cybersecurity, exemplifies the spirit of Israeli innovation and collaboration.
The founder demonstrates empathy towards the hostages and expresses a firm determination to accelerate the rescue mission.
“Most of us have our skin in the game with family or friends that are hostages in Gaza, so we are totally committed to this. It’s not professional, it’s personal. It’s very important for us because the clock is ticking and we want to make the world understand and give us the support that is needed to bring the hostages back home safely,”
Determination to Rescue the Hostages
Despite the uncertainties posed by Israel’s defense minister’s announcement of a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the team remains steadfast in their focus on the mission at hand.
Their resolve to bring the hostages home safely remains undeterred, highlighting the union of diverse talents and cutting-edge technology in a time of crisis.