Australian indie agency The Hallway has launched a campaign that aims to get men talking about mental health. The work includes outdoor advertising (see below), radio ads and a website. But the centrepiece is a remake of The Cure's song 'Boys Don't Cry'.
According to the agency, the campaign has been three years in the making and is the brainchild of partner and ECD Simon Lee (recently profiled in Campaign's 'Creative Minds' series), who sought help after his own battle with anxiety.
The video is produced by Good Oil and directed by Tom Campbell, and the campaign also involves The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Mental Health, mental fitness foundation Gotcha4Life and Heiress Films, the team behind the Gus Worland-hosted ABC TV series Man Up. Industry charity UnLtd and media agency Initiative are backing the campaign, with media inventory donated by major media organisations.
The video features a choir of 30 men from diverse walks of life, including recording artist and MC Dallas Woods, a Noongar man from the East Kimberley, and actor Eddie Baroo.
Lee, who rewrote the song's original lyrics, said:
Going and telling my GP that I was suffering from anxiety was more nerve-racking than any pitch presentation I have ever had to make. But admitting my vulnerability and reaching out for help is one of the best things I have ever done. My hope is that this campaign will help give other people the strength to do the same.
According to The Hallway, seven men die of suicide each day in Australia, and men account for 75% of all suicides. These are stop-you-in-your-tracks numbers. So the need for campaigns such as this is obvious. And therefore Ad Nut not only vigorously applauds Lee, The Hallway and all the organisations involved, but also hopes the work will really reach men who are in need of a kind ear.
Squirrelkind has no gender variations when it comes to talking about stuff. But sadly, the stuff most squirrels talk about is limited to simplistic chatter about the last nut they found and the squirrels they most want to mate with. Ad Nut learned long ago to turn to more verbose friends when it comes to talking about anything above base desires, including emotions. Ad Nut imagines that some men feel a similar frustration when they reach out to their fellows, but hopefully they'll keep trying until they find some dudes—or helpful organisations—who are capable of higher-order functions.
Creative Agency: The Hallway
Executive Creative Director: Simon Lee
Creative Director: Aldo Ferretto
Copywriters: Simon Lee, Tim Wood
Art Director: Aldo Ferretto
Producer: Carolyn Starkey
CEO: Jules Hall
Account Director: Chris Murphy
Head of Strategy: Tim Mottau
Comms Strategist: Mat Rawnsley
Special thanks to Hannah Sturrock
Media agency: Initiative
Sound Production: Uncanny Valley
Music Supervision: Charlton Hill
Music Producer: Justin Shave
Audio Post: Matt Perrott
Film Production: Good Oil
Director: Tom Campbell
Producer: Catherine Warner
Executive Producer: Sam Long
Musical Director/Arranger: Cameron Bruce
Director of Photography: Sam Chiplin
Editor: Phoebe Taylor @ Arc Edit
Colourist: Olivier Fontenay
Online: Arc Edit
Gotcha 4 Life
Founder/Director: Gus Worland
Head of Program Delivery: Vicky Worland
General Manager: Simon Hamilton
Head of Marketing & Communications: Savannah Fielder
Executive Producer: Jennifer Cummins
Impact Producer: Jackie Turnure
Publicist: Hannah Watkins
Website Designer/Developer: Elle Williams
Impact Coordinator: Harrison Lochtenberg
Social Media Coordinator: Abbey Cummins
Casting: Kirsty de Vallance, A Cast of Thousands
Production Accountant: Bronwyn Speziale
Legals: Stephen Boyle
CEO: Chris Freel
Chief Operating Officer: Rachel Troy
Head of Industry Partnerships: Saarika Shah
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