Suicide prevention organisation, the R U OK? Foundation, is challenging Australians to get creative
with ways to start a conversation by launching a new outdoor and digital advertising campaign.
Developed by OgilvyOne, the R U OK? Conversation Starter campaign was inspired by magnetic
fridge poetry and is being launched today (August 26) in the lead up to R U OK?Day (Thursday 12
September). It includes 400 static panels across major cities, three digital touch screens in
Melbourne and Sydney and a mobile and desktop-friendly app (available from www.ruokconversationstarter.com).
R U OK? CEO Janina Nearn said the ad campaign aims to help more people reflect on the difference that conversations can make to people struggling with life. "We know that 10% of Australians in 2012 didn’t connect with our message,” Janina said. “It’s a perception we need to change because we all know someone who’s struggling, and asking ‘are you ok?’ is something we can all do to make a difference.”
The digital panels and app allow people to create their own quirky conversation starter. The words
provided are deliberately humorous and unusual to encourage people to share their questions on
social media. All app-generated questions will be accompanied by the share message: All it takes is a few words and a question mark to start a conversation that can change a life.
“We hope the use of humour will help break down barriers and persuade more people of the value
of conversations in helping family members and friends to feel supported and less alone,” Janina
said. “The campaign will act as a gateway to educate more Australians about why asking ‘are you
ok?’ can change a life.”
Janina said the advertising campaign is a first for the R U OK? Foundation. “Thanks to the creative inspiration, generous pro bono support and amazing team work of OgilvyOne, Alpha Salmon, Pixolut and Adshel, the reach of this year’s advertising campaign will exceed what we’ve been able to achieve in previous years,” Janina said.
“R U OK? Founder Gavin Larkin was passionate about the power of advertising and it’s appropriate
that we continue to work closely with agencies to reduce the average of 2,300 suicide deaths in
Australia each year.”
The app is available from ruokconversationstarter.com. The digital ad panels are in Town Hall
Station, Sydney and Spencer and Bourke Streets, Melbourne.