Creative in association withGear Seven

Samaritans' Small Talk Saves Lives Comes to Screens with Powerful Spot

Advertising Agency
London, UK
McCann Central launches next part of the emotive campaign in collaboration with Network Rail and UM Birmingham

Small Talk Saves Lives – the emotive campaign which aims to prevent suicide on the railways by Samaritans and Network Rail in partnership with the rail industry – has taken to screens this month with a spot from McCann Central.

Samaritans and Network Rail kicked off the campaign with a TV first – participating in ITV’s silent ad break within Britain’ Got Talent the Champions, where viewers were encouraged to use the 2.5 minutes of silence to talk to family, loved ones or even text a friend. The placement was negotiated by UM Birmingham and begins a five-month campaign across TV, VOD and cinema.

The film at the centre of the campaign aims to empower the public to use small talk to save lives by identifying those in distress on the railways and other settings.

Neil Peters, strategic programme manager – Samaritans/Rail Partnership, from Samaritans said: “Suicide is preventable and suicidal thoughts are often temporary and can be interrupted. We want to give as many people as possible the skills to notice is someone might be at risk and give them the confidence to approach them. A simple question or some small talk can be all it takes to interrupt suicidal thoughts and start the journey to recovery.  We’re reminding people that they already know how to start a conversation, giving them the confidence to act.”

Ian Stevens MBE, suicide prevention programme manager from Network Rail said: “The Small Talk Saves Lives campaign has received heartening results since originally launching online, with 74% of people who saw the campaign saying they were likely to approach someone in distress, and 50% of people claiming it had increased their intent to act in such a situation.

“Participation in ITV’s silent ad break was a great opportunity to get our serious message in front of a substantial audience in a relevant way. By taking the campaign wider, we hope to empower many more people to feel confident in approaching someone who may be looking distant, withdrawn, upset or in distress.”

Small Talk Saves Lives is a campaign by Samaritans in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police, and the wider rail industry.

Media has been negotiated by UM Birmingham, part of McCann Central, with creative by Pegasus. The campaign film was directed by Stuart Hackshaw of The Progress Film Company.

Work from McCann London
Gold not Old