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the Samaritans

Samaritans begins to reposition as the ‘expert listeners’ with campaign to tackle suicide

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

February 23, 2016 | 3 min read

The Samaritans is looking to reposition itself as the ‘expert listener’ with the roll out of a two-year OOH campaign encouraging people to contact the charity before they reach a stage where they consider suicide.

It features a series of portraits, shot by photographer Nadav Kander, of anonymous people facing away from camera. Each portrait runs with a line featuring a hidden message.

For example, one ad it reads ‘Please don’t worry about it, you guys help people with worse problems that me’ with the words 'Please', 'help' and 'me' bolded out to convey the message that it’s sometimes easy to hide feelings but when someone listens, like Samaritans trained volunteers, you’re more likely to open up about problems.

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland explained: “Life’s pressures can build, without you even realising. It’s all too easy to turn away, ignore how you’re feeling, and put on a brave face. But you don’t have to do that with Samaritans. Samaritans volunteers make time for you and really listen to you, because simply being listened to can help you put into words what’s really going on in your life and help you find a way through.”

It marks the first campaign to come out of MullenLowe London since the agency won the advertising business last year.

Funded by Network Rail on behalf of the rail industry, it will run across stations in England, Scotland and Wales and be promoted online and across social media using the hashtag #WeListen.

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