Ken Walker, associate director of brand strategy at Partners + Napier, chooses five tactically brilliant campaigns that bring mental wellness to the forefront
The range of work that I’ve selected focuses on mental wellness - a topic that is often downplayed in national brand campaigns and mainstream media. We’ve all experienced and witnessed some form of mental strain during the pandemic, so I’ve taken particular note of creative that speaks to the human need to better recognise when something is wrong and those brands with the courage to encourage people to seek help when they need it the most...
BetterHelp - 'Distant Friends'
Agency: Matiz Creative
I had a sigh of relief after first seeing this spot because it encapsulates that uncomfortable feeling many people felt and are still feeling in such uncertain times. BetterHelp uses a lighthearted approach to show that even in the moments when everyone is vocal about their hopes, many people still fight silent battles that are not always easy to talk about.
Baby Dove - 'Under Pressure / Postpartum'
Agency: Dark Kitchen Creatives
Now, here’s a mental health topic all too common among new Mums everywhere. Dove took a deliberate step to partner with Postpartum Support International to provide direct help to new moms as they cope with the pressures of early motherhood. The spot is beautifully shot and shows a pretty raw portrait of how this battle affects a diverse range of Mums, bringing forth a message of unity to something that they often feel they have to deal with alone and out of sight from society.
nabsCanada - 'This Job Can Break You If You Let It'
This is an obvious, yet universal truth that many corporate workers feel. It’s an added pressure that’s perpetuated by each generation - leading to rising rates of burnout among professionals in just about every industry. The spot showcases a simple reminder (in snackable form) that it’s okay to pause and just go home. The film was created for nabs, a group that supports the health and well-being of all individuals in the media, marketing and communications industry in Canada.
Apple - 'The Me You Can’t See'
Agency: TBWA/Media Arts Lab
Okay this isn’t a spot, but was one heck of a trailer. I had just finished binge watching the first two seasons of Ted Lasso before coming across the Apple TV preview for 'The Me You Can’t See'. It’s a docu-series co-created by Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry that uses storytelling to explore mental health and emotional well-being from people all around the world. I was immediately drawn in by the countless visuals used to illustrate how mental health affects people from all walks of life...even Lady Gaga!
MDLive - 'Comfy'
Agency: Partners + Napier
This last one is something some of my colleagues developed based on a super simple insight. If the best way of treating mental health is through communication that makes people feel as comfortable as possible - then brand conversations about seeking treatment should feel extra comfy! There’s enough stigmas without the need to make everything feel so clinical. MDLive does a great job of reducing barriers by keeping it cozy and relatable.