Staff Reporters
Oct 18, 2023

Empowering mental health ads that make you think, feel and act differently

A World Mental Health Day regional campaign roundup from brands across Asia, such as Colgate, HPB, Black Dog Institute and Lululemon.

Empowering mental health ads that make you think, feel and act differently

The World Mental Health Day is on October 11 but it's never not important to talk about wellbeing. The fight to normalise the stigma around mental wellness must be a year-round effort, especially in today's challenging times. From the cost of living crisis, the tech layoffs, and the constant fear of an impending recession, people are struggling. And so it's important to keep the conversations around mental health going. 

This October, we applaud the efforts of brands that are making a meaningful impact in ensuring that campaigns are told with sensitivity and care. Here are some inpiring mental health ads from the region that are helping to erase the stigma and normalising every bit of conversation around mental health. Take a look. 

Name: '#FreeYourSmile'
Brand: Colgate-Palmolive
Agency: WPP@CP

Colgate-Palmolive's #FreeYourSmile initiative, launched on World Smile Day and World Mental Health Day, tackles 'smile shame' head-on. The brand utilized a database of 15,000 public smile images to recreate them into Colgate's logo. They further encouraged people to create their own personalized Colgate smiles using the Smile Generator AI tool on TikTok and Instagram, celebrating all smiles. The campaign, created by WPP@CP, is inspired by a study revealing that 94% of respondents in APAC desire the freedom to smile more openly.

Read more about the campaign here.

Name: ‘Are we giving the right support?’
Brand: Health Promotion Board, Singapore
Agency: Publicis Groupe 

Singapore's Health Promotion Board launched a thought-provoking online video highlighting an honest conversation between friends. The campaign addresses the decline in mental well-being among Singaporeans during the pandemic, with one in seven reporting poor mental health. With the question "Are we giving the right support?" as its core message, HPB aims to create stronger and more effective support systems for those in need. Created by Publicis Groupe, the campaign offers viewers the option to access the characters' internal reflections using subtitles, emphasizing the impact of inadequate assistance.

Name: ‘Better mental health for all’
Brand: Black Dog Institute
Agency: Houston Group

Australia's renowned mental health research institute, Black Dog Institute, launched the 'Better mental health for all' campaign. The campaign focuses on delivering research with real-world impact to treat, manage, and prevent common mental health conditions and suicide.

Created by Houston Group, “Better Mental Health’ launched across radio, social and out–of–home nationally in October to coincide with Mental Health Month in Australia. 

Name: ‘Find Your Wellbeing’
Brand: Lululemon
Agency: Edelman

Lululemon's 'Find Your Wellbeing' campaign, launched in partnership with global Korean icons Taeyang and Jeon Somi, invites the public to embark on a four-day event at Seoul's Cociety venue. The transformed venue offers a holistic experience, inspiring and supporting personal wellbeing journeys on physical, mental, and social levels. Following the launch in South Korea, key markets in Asia, including Japan, Singapore, and Thailand, will host community sweat sessions and interactive pop-ups. The campaign aligns with insights from Lululemon's Global Wellbeing Report, aiming to unlock drivers and tackle barriers to wellbeing, especially for men and Gen Z.

In the mainland market, Lululemon unveiled its ‘Wellbeing Roll-out Gallery’ at the West Bund Shanghai in partnership with Jeremyville. The three-kilometre-long outdoor art exhibition included a week-long programme of immersive experiences, movement sessions and conversations on wellbeing. 

Name: ‘Kindness is contagious’
Brand: Kotak811
Agency: Schbang

Kotak811 unveiled an inspiring verse, co-created with spoken word artist Yahya Bootwala, to mark World Mental Health Day.

The campaign underscores the intentional nature of kindness as a force for good, urging people not to neglect self-care. Kotak811 is committed to maintaining this endeavor as a continuous push for a positive and healthy work atmosphere.

In a related event for World Smile Day, Kotak811 staff participated in a secret swap of uplifting and grateful messages, captured in a video. This exercise was designed to spark joy and reinforce the company's internal ethos of compassion.

Name: ‘Brave Talk’
Brand: Maybelline New York
Agency: The Jed Foundation / Avian WE

A majority of first-year college students, 54% to be exact, often experience anxiety after entering university, and surprisingly, 60% seek advice from friends rather than professionals.

Recognising this, Maybelline New York, joined forces with The Jed Foundation (JED) to introduce 'Brave Talk'. This complimentary, expert-crafted training aims to prepare people for sensitive and sometimes challenging mental health discussions with peers who may need assistance.

The initiative was kicked off with a compelling panel dialogue featuring mental health champions such as Ananya Birla, Anshula Kapoor, Kusha Kapila, and Nikhil Taneja. Ananya Birla, who serves as both the brand's face and the campaign's envoy, added her invaluable viewpoints to the talk.

Varun Duggirala, a content creator and podcaster, steered the discussion towards substantive topics. The gathering also included workshops in art, dance, and listening circles, recognising the crucial role these elements have in tackling mental health issues.

Furthermore, Maybelline's Brand Envoy Ananya Birla unveiled 'The Brave Together' musical piece, a homage to mental health that highlights her unwavering commitment to raising awareness on the subject. Birla leveraged her influence to inspire transformative conversations about mental health, emphasising the importance of prioritising mental well-being and extending help to those in need.

Campaign Asia

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