Broadcasters team up for government’s mental health campaign

Every Mind Matters is using a roadblock ad with digital precision to reach as many people as possible to help tackle poor mental health.

Nadiya Hussain is part of Every Mind Matters’ three-minute film on mental health.

Broadcasters have come together to promote Public Health England’s (PHE) new digital hub, which aims to tackle the UK’s mental health crisis.

Every Mind Matters launches tonight (7 October) at 8.45pm with a roadblock ad across ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky channels.

PHE is promoting its new digital hub of the same name, which provides NHS-approved advice on issues such as anxiety, stress and depression.

The aim of the campaign is to drive awareness of the hub as well as encourage discussion about mental health.

PHE’s marketing director Sheila Mitchell tells Marketing Week: “There is so much fantastic work by charities like Mind and Samaritans but there was a gap in the market. They’ve been doing stigma really really well and so people are more fine to talk about mental health struggles but people are saying OK tell me what I need to do.”

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Each broadcaster will air a trailer for a three-minute film on mental health and are amplifying the activity to direct the public to the Every Mind Matters website.

Mitchell explains: “It didn’t seem [to warrant] the stuff of a normal advertising campaign. It felt like this is important, really important to the country, so it was vital that there was a cut through and that [mental health help] is seen as something for all of us.”

The campaign is being promoted across charities, business and social media platforms with broadcasters proposing the roadblock strategy themselves to encourage a “stand-out moment”.

“We got all the broadcasters together six months ago, and the tech sector, and said ‘how can you help us with this?’ The broadcasters were actually asked to respond on an individual basis but they came back and said we think we can do something much more powerful together,” she explains.

As well as a “big and noisy” TV ad – which will also be shown on on-demand services – PHE is using highly targeted digital ads to ensure the campaign reaches those who need it most.

“The objective is to reframe social anxiety and low mood so we’re not just talking about it but to create a whole toolkit to help support and offer practical things people can do,” says Mitchell.

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It will target the implicit and explicit signals of mental health problems given out by online behaviour via search, social media and programmatic display activity. Practically, this means if someone is scrolling Instagram at 2am they should see an ad explaining how to get help with insomnia. The campaign will also will run time-targeted tailored messaging to reach, for example, stressed commuters or poor sleepers.

The goverment is also working with charities for the elderly and BAME groups to ensure that the campaign reaches a wide range of groups. Plus, it is collaborating with businesses spanning a number of sectors including entertainment, sport and finance, which have pledged to adopt Every Mind Matters for their employees, customers and fans.

Underlining the campaign is new PHE research which shows that more than eight in 10 (83%) of people have experienced signs of poor mental health in the last 12 months, and 27% waited at least six months before taking action, mainly because they were unclear on what they could do.

PHE will measure volume numbers, engagement and time spent on the Every Mind Matters site to see if the campaign has been a success.

“Short-term success is asking have people engaged with it? Have people noticed it? Have people engaged with the mind action plan?” Mitchell says.

The long-term aim is that the UK’s mental health improves, including developing an understanding of how and why people need help.