With suicide being the second leading cause of death for young adults in the US, the Ad Council has a new campaign, ‘Seize the Awkward,’ to empower teens and young adults to reach out to friends with mental health issues who may be at risk for suicide.
The Ad Council joined the Jed Foundation (JED), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Droga5 to introduce the national public service campaign.
While it’s never easy to talk about mental health issues, this approaches the subject with awkward humor. ‘Seize the Awkward’ encourages teens and young adults, particularly those ages 16-24, to create a safe space for their friends to open up about mental health challenges. The campaign personifies an awkward silence that can happen between friends before a conversation about mental health. A character, Awkward Silence, portrayed by Broadway actor Gideon Glick, shows viewers the opportunity that exists in recognizing something is wrong and breaking through an awkward silence between friends – and encourages them to use this moment to check in and ask about their mental health. He pops up in between two friends on a couch, sitting in awkward silence. He wedges between two people in bed, in the middle of two friends in a hot tub, and even squeezes in between two football players at a urinal.
The campaign will be activated by a group of media partners and platforms, including BuzzFeed, Chegg, Esquire, Upworthy, Colossal Media, Facebook, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Reddit, Wattpad and YouTube.
Client: The Ad Council
Partners: Jed Foundation (JED), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Media Partners: BuzzFeed, Chegg, Esquire, Upworthy, Colossal Media, Facebook, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Reddit, Wattpad and YouTube.