Physically distance yourself, not socially!

Britain’s ITV, a TV network that competes with BBC, has been running a mental wellness campaign called ‘Britain Get Talking’ since October 2019.

The launch was quite dramatic, to put it mildly!

Conceived by ITV’s agency, Uncommon, they literally paused live TV for 5 minutes even as everyone on TV continued to remain on screen, but silent!

Here’s how it played out: the hosts, Ant and Dec (an English TV presenting duo, consisting of comedians, TV presenters and rappers Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly) dramatically announced during one of the most-watched show in the UK (Britain’s Got Talent) and everyone in the studio (including the judges, studio audiences) went silent for 2+ minutes. The idea was to let silent talk, powerfully! The call-to-action was for the audiences at their homes to talk to each other!

Watch how it unfolds!

Not just this – they even had an ad break that adhered to the same format! Yes, they roped in a set of brands that paid money to be silent on TV!

How did it work? This is how!

As a follow-up to this launch, Uncommon and ITV unveiled a print advertising campaign in late October 2019. The creative idea was very inventive – it used what looked like ripped out TV listings (connects back to ITV!) but instead of actual TV listings, they have a call-to-action related to talking to each other. And given how sparse and minimal it looks in a full-page, it attracts attention immediately!

The latest follow-up to the same campaign is linked to physical isolation due to the coronavirus scare. In order to get people to connect with each other during these times of social distancing and isolation, Uncommon takes a creative step forward from its earlier TV listings idea – this time they use the phone contacts screen! And what do you see in the space? Instead of names, you see a mini-story and a call-to-action!

Much like the earlier campaign, when you see a stark contacts list phone screen on a full page, that really hits you and forces you to take note. That attention is harnessed so very creatively in the sentence formed through the contacts list – you least expect a sentence there and that’s what makes it memorable and compelling.

ITV is not the only brand focusing on mental wellness. There are a lot of efforts to spur people to talk to each other during this incredibly difficult time.

iD Fresh Foods recently added a twist to their annual Mothers’ Day campaign by not focusing on conventional mothers or son/daughters (as they did in the past 3 years’ Mothers’ Day videos). Watch the video written and supervised by People Design And Communication and produced by Little Lamb Films.

Another impressive effort on the same lines is from the Finnish NGO HelsinkiMissio. Their agency, TBWA\Helsinki, using stark footage of empty public spaces to make an impactful point: “For some, this is how the world has always felt. Show the lonely they are not alone”. Brilliant thought!