Comedian James Acaster voices ad break takeover to kick off partnership between the TV channel and anti-suicide charity
UKTV’s comedy channel, Dave, took over a commercial ad break and using the time to launch a year-long partnership with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a leading movement against suicide, which remains the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
At 9.09pm on Monday 26 November, a time that would usually be dedicated to adverts and TV trailers, Dave encouraged viewers to get in touch with a mate to see how they are. The four minute ad takeover is made by UKTV’s in-house creative team and will be voiced by James Acaster, the comedian most recently seen in the record-breaking seventh series of Dave’s Taskmaster.
The year-long ‘Be the mate you’d want’ campaign kicks off with on air promos on Dave’s airtime, print and out of home ads, radio ads across the Global Radio network, social media, branded beer mats and coffee cups. Next year, there will be a podcast, a commissioned comedy, and much more. All to encourage and support male friendship as part of a shared ambition between CALM and UKTV to tackle male depression and suicide.
The campaign comes following recent research commissioned by Dave and CALM of 2,300 men and women in the UK which revealed that, while 86% of men agree that they would want to help a friend, 35% wouldn’t know what to do to help a friend having a tough time. The survey also revealed a male/female disparity when it came to noticing the warning signs: 41% of men find it difficult to recognise when their friend is having a tough time, compared to 26% of women. This disparity informs the campaign’s focus on encouraging men to reach out to their friends. The campaign also promotes the power of small gestures to improve mental health: when going through a tough time, 38% of men said they would appreciate friends sending them a message, 48% would appreciate friends making them laugh, and 41% would appreciate a friend suggesting they go for a drink.
By encouraging men to reach out to their friends, Dave is supporting CALM’s mission to create a more positive and open culture when it comes to mental health.
The year-long ‘Be the mate you’d want’ campaign centres around the idea that small gestures from a friend can be a lifeline for someone who is going through a tough time. The creative ads will encourage people to do something to show a mate that they’re there for them.
The marketing materials have been produced by UKTV Creative and the dialogue and copy has been crafted by Dave’s Senior Social Editor, CALM ambassador, and mental health author, Aaron Gillies.
Luke Hales, Dave’s channel director commented: “Dave reaches more than 19 million people a month and on average, over 60% of our viewers are men. Research has highlighted that millions of men experience loneliness, but suffer in silence. This campaign is our small gesture for anyone who may be going through a tough time. We hope it will encourage people to reach out to friends who need a reminder that someone is thinking of them and someone cares.”
Cherie Cunningham, head of marketing at UKTV said: “Dave and CALM will use the power of Dave’s brand and tone of voice to launch a campaign that brings to life the strength of friendship, highlighting how small acts of kindness between friends can be powerful. The campaign highlights the best qualities of friendship, the nuances that make real friends and how easy it can be to check in with a mate who may be going through a tough time. Our call to action is simple: All it takes is a text, a chat, a tweet - something to show you’re there.”
Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM stated: “Suicide is a problem that affects everyone, so CALM aims to work with the whole of society on campaigns that change culture and encourage help-seeking behaviour. Dave and CALM’s ‘Be the mate you’d want’ campaign will help to promote a positive, proactive and empathetic approach when it comes to mental health. One of the fundamental issues is that, when men are finding things tough or struggling with their mental health, they still face social stigma, so we hope the campaign will create a positive environment where men can feel comfortable opening up to and supporting their mates.”