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NHS runs geotargeted mental wellbeing ads in Football Manager stadiums

NHS Leeds is using digital ads in Football Manager to reach young people.

An NHS mental health and wellbeing campaign targeting previously hard-to-reach young men has chalked up a digital first, by placing geotargeted ads in PC game Football Manager.

Ads promoting MindMate, a service which helps young people in Leeds, will be displayed via clickable on-pitch ads during game simulations.

The campaign is being geotargeted so that only players in Leeds will see the promotion, marking the first time that the NHS has used such tactics. When clicked on, the eight-second ads take players to a relevant part of the MindMate website.

Dr Jane Mischenko, commissioning lead for children and maternity services at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which runs MindMate, told The Drum: “Mental health and wellbeing is an important subject for children and young people, so our aim is to signpost MindMate as a resource that they can turn to for support and advice when the time suits them.

“In the coming months we will be hoping to reach as many young people in the city as possible to make them aware of the help available via MindMate.”

Simon Mitchell, chief creative officer at Bidstack, which operates in-game advertising in Football Manager, said: “Bidstack is delighted to be working with the NHS and MindMate to raise awareness and support of mental health issues in young people; males in particular are hard to reach and engage, and the gaming environment in Football Manager is a great way to connect with them.”

The placement will allow the campaign, which aims to promote MindMate throughout the city at roadshows and events, as well as with digital and social media, to speak to a typically hard-to-reach audience. The campaign will last six months.

Bidstack, which calls itself “the eBay of digital out-of-home (DOOH)”, specialises in selling unused DOOH space. The company launched its services last year.

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