By Hotwire Creative Director Jamie Readon & Senior Creative Programme Director Paul Stollery
Mental health is now the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, and no one’s talking about. Well, they are, but not in a way that matters.
We’ve all heard the stats, we’ve all seen the studies. In that sense, yes, we’re talking about it. But when it comes to talking about your own depression, suddenly that’s a lot harder.
When the brief came in, we knew very quickly that we wanted to focus on the fact people with depression don’t talk about it. It’s a topic close to our hearts, and while we’re absolutely not experts, we both felt very strongly that if we could just fix that one little thing – getting people to open up and talk about an issue – a lot of people wouldn’t commit suicide.
We wanted to focus on The Conversation.
Whenever we approach charity briefs we try not to default to the problem, and instead focus on the solution. But for this campaign, we felt we had to. We had to focus on the problem in order to highlight its absurdity – how a small thing like opening your mouth and saying something can save your life. How a small thing like just asking your friend how they’re doing – how they’re really doing – can save their life.
It’s easier said than done, we know that. But by shining a light on the fact that a little more conversation can truly make a difference, we hoped one or two people might stop and think, and maybe have the courage to speak about it a little more.
The creative process for us is like a bag of Lego without the instructions; get it right and it looks outstanding, get it wrong and you’ve got a twisted brick kaleidoscope of horror on your hands.
Our original inspiration was Alas Smith and Jones; Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones having a very funny and quintessentially British conversation. The initial thought was for us to recreate that scene – talking heads on a black background – but not to say a single thing. Just stare at each other rather awkwardly. But, seeing as how we both have a face for radio, we decided to explore other avenues.
We wanted to contrast the source material with something lighter. A simple, animated film felt the most appropriate way to convey our message.
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