Adam&eveDDB launched Project 84 with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a stunt that placed 84 lifelike mannequins on the ledges of London’s ITV Southbank buildings to raise awareness on male suicide.
Every two hours, a man takes his own life, making about 84 deaths per week. As harrowing a stat as that is, a stigma around mens’ mental health still exists and shrouds it, and not enough has been done to normalize the behavior of asking for help. Project 84 is the second annual effort between charity and agency, in an effort to raise awareness and allow men to find help when feeling suicidal.
The project, sponsored in part by grooming brand Harry’s, asked sculptor Mark Jenkins to create a series of 84 sculptures, with support from bereaved friends and families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Jenkins interviewed these groups of relatives in a series of workshops, and the resulting figures were made in his trademark tape-casting technique.
The sculptures were placed on the ledges of Southbanks buildings yesterday (Monday, March 26). ITV’s This Morning telecast had assisted in raising awareness by dedicating three days of programming to male suicide, including interviews with loved ones of the men who have been casted in tape for the activation.
Alongside broadcast coverage by ITV's This Morning, Project 84 has been supported by a PR campaign from creative communications agency W, alongside online comms, posters and volunteers on the ground, raising awareness of the signs to look out for in people who may be at risk, and most importantly, how to provide them with support.
Reaction thus far has been overwhelming.
Today @theCALMzone is launching #project84 with @thismorning Bringing awareness around #MaleSuicide with 84 life-sized sculptures as visual representations of 84 real men who take their own lives every single week in the UK. #SuicidePreventionpic.twitter.com/elDhpDMIht
— ITV Responsibility (@ITV_R) March 26, 2018
Wow. ITV currently have 84 statues across their buildings. They are for #Project84 to represent the 84 men who die from suicide every week. A brilliant way to make the invisible, visible. It is getting people talking about something we don't like to talk about. Well done, ITV. pic.twitter.com/0ImEEI4Zn5
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 26, 2018
Actually an emotional mess watching @thismorning. I've never had a dad in my life, but if you have yours, or a brother, uncle or close male friend, ask how they are. Let them know they can talk to you. It might just save their life. #mensmentalhealth#project84
— Britt Whyatt (@shewhobakes1) March 26, 2018
Simon Gunning chief executive at CALM, said: “Achieving our goal of male suicide prevention requires everybody to take a stand. As a society we have to face this awful issue, discuss it and actively work to stop it, which is why we’re particularly invested in making this campaign a success. Project 84 is all about making the scale of the situation very clear and we hope it will drive change and encourage everyone, government included, to come together to take suicide seriously.”
Adam&eveDDB Deputy executive creative directors Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland, Deputy Executive Creative Directors added: “Male suicide and mental health is a big issue that can’t be ignored any longer. It’s unacceptable that so many men are tragically taking their own lives every week, and yet there are so few people talking about it. Hopefully this piece of work will highlight this shocking statistic and help start conversation.”
Warren Johnson, founder and global chief executive at W, said: “CALM’s work is vital, and I feel privileged to support such a hard-hitting campaign. #Project84 is about drastic action and everyone should be taking a stand to join this movement, helping to prevent male suicide.”