Feature

Do It Day: what happened when the industry came together to destigmatise mental health

Gathering the agencies, tech companies and publishers that emerged triumphant from The Drum’s Hack It Day, the winning campaigns to change the perceptions of mental health were brought to life on Do It Day. Here’s what happened.

With several campaigns each being created through out the day, a panel of judges led by ex-Unilever media director Alex Tait assessed all the campaigns created to award an overall winner. They deemed the campaign created for The Mix to be the overall winner, while applauding the work of all challenge teams.

The Mix

Three in four under 25s believe they are misrepresented in the news media, a study by The Mix found. Based on this insight, the youth charity set out to disrupt the negative news agenda by creating an alternative 6 o’clock news bulletin, produced with young people, for young people and fronted by the modern-day celebrities young audiences now so often turn to for life advice and inspiration – YouTubers.

For the anchors of the bulletin (YouTube sensations Niki and Sammy), Do It Day began with a dawn trip to the Sky News studio to tell the nation how they’d be anchoring a very different kind of news programme to their hosts on the Sunrise show.

The Sky News appearance was the first of several savvy social and PR efforts undertaken on Do It Day to trail ‘In The Mix’ ahead of its 6pm launch on YouTube. The team took over the Kiss FM studio for an hour and secured ad space in the Evening Standard and on outdoor billboards from Ocean Media, to promote their show with the message: 'Done with Fake News? Something Real is Coming… 16/11/17 – 6pm'.

When the big moment came at 6pm, In The Mix went live on YouTube with Niki and Sammy introducing a show promising to “bring you the truth about the stories that matter to you”. In between hard-hitting debate and discussion, the promising debut episode featured vlogger PetesJams talking about the inspiring reactions to his coming out video, a story about a young woman called Chyna who draws strength from drama therapy and a stirring musical performance from To Kill a King.

An outstanding day for The Mix was crowned when the judges gave a special award to the charity for creating Do It Day’s best campaign. Providing Do It Day with a lasting legacy, In The Mix will now continue as a fortnightly series.

The Mix team were:

Alex Beazley-Long, creative strategist, Imagination; Catherine Handley, partnerships manager, Jungle Creations; David Sore, head of marketing, Verifone Media; Henry Okello, design officer, The Royal British Legion; Jamie MacCarthy-Morrogh, associate creative director, VCCP Health; Jamien Middleton, creative producer, The Animation Guys; Katherine Fitzgerald, AV exec, M/Six; Lewis Appleby, AV exec, M/Six; Aurelija Raskeviciute; Dan Saberi; Robbie Deffense; Theo Hicks; Joe Crosby

Best Beginnings

Child health charity Best Beginnings challenged attendees at Do It Day to raise awareness and use of its Baby Buddy app among young mothers aged 16 to 25, and establish the app as a brand on its own right.

Baby Buddy helps to guide parents - both physically and mentally - through pregnancy until their child is six months old.

The winning idea centred around breaking down stereotypes of pregnancy by showing the realities of being a mother that no-one talks about. This culminated in a Facebook Live event in which real women shared real stories of pregnancy, to confound the image of perfection expectant celebrities often project.

In the run up to the event, the winning team from the Do It Day Hack created a campaign that looked to highlight the impact of celebrity culture on pregnancy with an ‘unfiltered’ photoshoot poking fun at Beyoncé’s iconic pregnancy photo. The campaign spots featured on Spotify, the Guardian’s site, in the Financial Times newspaper and on taxi screens. They will also appear in the Evening Standard online and in the Sunday Mirror.

At Do It Day the team was focused on encouraging young mothers to share their stories of motherhood (dubbed ‘mumfessions’) using the hashtag #SecretLifeOfMums. The aim was to create a community around the hashtag that would last beyond just Do It Day. The young mothers were then directed to the Baby Buddy app, an ‘area of support’, to see the experience of other mums during and after pregnancy, as well as to the Facebook Live event page.

The Facebook Live event saw four women at varying stages of pregnancy speaking candidly about their struggles during pregnancy – from nausea to feeling unsupported – as well as their mental health concerns at a time when two in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. The event was chaired by Stephanie Kronson, communications and digital director at Best Beginnings, and took place during an antenatal class at London’s South Bank at 4pm.

The charity, which typically sees 1,200 app downloads for Baby Buddy a week, is hoping to see a 20% increase in downloads as a result of Do It Day activity.

The Best Beginnings team were:

Rona Miller, lead creative, Kindred; Georgina Murray, comms, Financial Times; Katy Nicholls, digital marketing exec, Collision Group; Sophie Kurzer, digital exec, ESI Media; Emily Strickland, marketing manager, Reckless; Phil McFadden, copywriter, RPM; Matilda Woulfe, UX designer, Imagination; Alice Fane, junior creative strategist, Imagination; Chris Silberston, copywriter, A Thousand Monkeys

Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Calm had challenged teams at the Do It Day Hack to come up with a campaign encouraging men to talk to a friend if they are feeling low or in crisis. The winning idea centred on how men act during key life moments when they are emotional and supportive, such as being a best man at a friend’s wedding.

Ahead of Do It Day, the team – with a bit of help from ESI Media and their London Live studio – shot the film that would sit at the heart of the 'Best Man Project' campaign.

It stars real-life friends who jokingly talk about everything from who takes longer to get ready to who’s better behaved after a few too many pints. It then takes a serious turn when they’re asked to talk about what the other person means to them – something all the men found difficult to express – before ending on an encouraging message to not feel embarrassed about opening up.

On Do It Day, the team went into distribution mode as they pushed the film on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This was supported by a digital ad campaign that ran in space donated by Spotify and the Guardian, as well as a radio version that went out across stations including Capital Scotland, Heart, Smooth and XS Manchester.

The group's efforts also delivered earned coverage on the likes of Joe Media and the Independent.

The CALM team were:

Charlotte Hunt, senior trade marketing manager, ESI Media; Chris Goddard, creative director, Splash Worldwide; Chris Kemm, digital diretor, Thompson Brand Partners; David Shepherd, editor, Krow Communications; Gareth Anderson, strategy consultant, CreateFuture; Hema Patel, managing director, Only Red Marketing; Jo Saker, creative director, Parker Williams; Alex Iacoponi, branded content director, Bold Content Video; Patricia Leonardo, digital creative, Imagination; Rachel Stephenson, communications director, CALM; and Sam Quinton, in-house creative, CALM.

Nabs and Mind

Nabs, the support organisation for the UK ad and media industry, teamed up with mental health charity Mind to launch a digital campaign designed to start a conversation in the industry about mental wellbeing at work.

Do It Day saw the team promote the initiative, simply titled ‘Start a Conversation’, via several online executions, which aimed to drive industry professionals towards a short survey encouraging them to share their own experiences of mental health in the office.

The answers will be used to help both charities get a feel for the shape of the industry so they can build upon the results appropriately. By the end of the day the survey had garnered 100 respondents in total, with the aim being to reach at least 500 people over the next month.

At the heart of the campaign launch was a series of videos featuring senior industry figures such as MediaCom’s Karen Blackett and Josh Krichefski, as well as the Telegraph’s chief revenue officer Chris Forrester and Major Players director Rosa Rolo, discussing what the industry should do to improve workplace wellbeing and urging people to be more open about their experiences.

Free ad inventory offered by Spotify and The Drum was also targeted towards marketing and media professionals, and throughout the day both Nabs and Mind were active across social media in recruiting survey respondents.

As well as the digital campaigns, the pair hosted some taster sessions for marketers live at Do It Day, including a short talk on how to better understand your brain with Nabs’ behavioural expert and executive coach Soraya Shaw. Mind’s head of workplace wellbeing, meanwhile, offered marketers tips on how to implement a ‘wellness action plan’ in their workplace.

The Nabs team were:

Charlotte Mill, sales and marketing manager, Lab; Lab Chris Daly, startup consultant, Flexihouse; Grant Tasker, marketing director, Playmob; Ho-Yee, innovation labs programme marketer, Imagination; Jenny Richardson, senior account director, Foxtrot Papa; Jonathan Dixon, senior production manager, RPM; Caroline Mastoras, sales director, Bing UK; Paul Carolan, managing director, Archipelo; Kirsty Newman, accounts co-ordinator, Financial Times.

Young Minds

Mental wellbeing charity Young Minds advanced its Do It Day Hack objective of urging parents to spend 20 minutes with their children each week to start a discussion about mental health. This was done with the launch of a campaign named #Take20.

To mark the launch, the group hosted a gala in the sun-blessed fields of Marylebone Green Playground in Regents Park. Among the festivities was a football game catered with cakes to entice the public to learn more about the campaign. Furthermore, the event was captured in 360 video and broadcast on Facebook Live.

The footage was edited into an ad to underline the charity’s work. It was pulled together in a couple of hours and set live by the end of the day.

The creative is housed on the charity’s Find Your Feet hub, which was built in time for Do It Day to aid the transition of primary school children to high school. The work was rooted in the knowledge that half of mental illnesses reportedly manifest in children before the age of 14.

The hub is filled with bonding activity suggestions that are primed to organically start a conversation. The likes of sports, baking, dancing, walking and yoga are some of the suggested activities.

The campaign was picked up today by mainstream media, including the Huffington Post, Metro and Financial Times.

The Young Minds team were:

Lucy Wakely, senior account executive, Undercurrent; Imogen Almond, new business and marketing executive, RPM; Alex Kosterman, creative copywriter, Impero; Naomi Sandercock, marketing executive, Coull; Segun Malomo, event producer, Undercurrent; Sarah Hannington, Microsoft Search Advertising; Hayley Toothill-Taylor, head of social, Content OD; Jenna O'Keefe, fundraising planner, Good Agency; Emily Leefe, account manager at Undercurrent

Mental Wealth

Working off of two ideas generated by two separate teams at the New York Do It Day Hack on October 10, the New York team at Do It Day blended the ideas for a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ style path to ‘Mental Wealth,’ as decided on by Mental Health America, a 108-year-old nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness.

A team comprised of The Drum and McCann Health employees distilled down the Hack’s two ideas – one with avatars to make mental health screening less scary to a younger generation, and the second calling mental health ‘mental wealth’, with the idea being that if people have a positive connotation with the subject they may be more likely to take screenings and ‘invest’ in their mental wealth. Ultimately, the team got to a solidified idea where a fictional college student, Steve, takes two different mental health paths.

The session became a storyboard for a series of videos following Steve, who is failing at his grades and becoming increasingly depressed (and dependent) due to mental health issues that haven’t yet been diagnosed.

We follow Steve as he follows two separate paths. One leads to his acceptance as someone who takes mental health screenings as offered by Mental Health America, accruing Mental Wealth points along the way towards a better future. The other has him resisting efforts and heading down a path where he could hit ‘Stage 4’ of mental illness.

Using the hashtags #whatismentalwealth and #B4Stage4 were highlights of the day.

The Mental Wealth team were:

Doug Zanger, Americas editor, Victoria Cheng, associate communications manager, McCann Worldgroup; The Drum; Minda Smiley, reporter, The Drum; Conor Tuohy, US campaign executive, The Drum; Bennett D. Bennett, reporter, The Drum; Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works editor, The Drum; John Denton, senior consultant, McCann Health.