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Advertising The Drum Recommends: Commended Creative

The Drum Recommends: Commended - Clout Brandings' Campaign to encourage men to talk more openly about mental health


By The Drum Recommends | Analyst

March 20, 2019 | 6 min read

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The Drum Recommends: Commended is highlighting Clout Branding who created a mental health awareness campaign for Time to Change Wales.

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At any given time 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues. Time to change Wales’ Talking is a Lifeline campaign, which is run by Hafal and Mind Cymru aims to change public attitudes by empowering people to challenge stigma and talk more openly about mental health. According to CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016, only 55% of men who have reported feeling very depressed said they talked to someone about it. Men currently in their mid-years are caught between the traditional silent, strong, austere masculinity of their fathers and the more progressive, open and individualistic generation of their sons. As a result, men in mid-life are increasingly likely to be living on their own, with little or no experience of coping emotionally or seeking help on their own, and few supportive relationships to fall back on.

Clout Branding were asked to create a campaign to help normalise discussion around mental health issues in Wales by encouraging men to talk more openly with family, friends, colleagues and professional organisations, without feeling stigmatised.

The campaign is aimed at men aged 30+, Welsh language speakers and rural communities in Wales where stigma is more entrenched. Through a positive approach, the Talking is a Lifeline campaign aims to raise awareness around the support available to those suffering with mental health issues and those who may have concerns or recognise signs in others.

The campaign aims to be a catalyst for a positive future – where more men are talking about mental health issues and where this momentum can change attitudes and normalise mental health discussion amongst society.

Our approach is grounded in ‘real-life’ situations to help the target audience see themselves in similar situations and to feel reassured that talking openly is OK.” page 2 of 4 June Jones, Campaign Lead from Time to Change Wales explains: “Only 55% of men who reported feeling depressed said they talked to someone about it, and yet 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at any one time. You don’t have to be an expert to help a person experiencing a mental health problem. If you’re worried about a male friend or loved one, start a conversation, and ask the question, ‘are you alright?’ and be prepared to listen. It’s really important that men worried about their mental health talk to someone they love and trust, or their GP.”

The challenge:

We were asked to create a campaign to help normalise discussion around mental health issues by encouraging open dialogue amongst those affected – both directly and indirectly. Specifically, the campaign was aimed at men aged 30-50, Welsh language speakers and rural communities in Wales where stigma is more entrenched.

Our approach:

Initial research indicated that a more gender-specific approach was required in order to tackle stigma and better engage with men. We focused the campaign around a positive and proactive message – led by a series of self-questioning headlines. We set the Talking is a Lifeline campaign in familiar rural settings and told real stories of men who have experienced positive change through talking more openly.

The integrated campaign was delivered across TV, outdoor advertising, print, short film and social media in February 2019. It is a little too early to measure the effects of the campaign but the aim is that it will strengthen the overall Time to Change brand across Wales and help to normalise discussion around men’s mental health.

What our client said:

"Clout demonstrated how a campaign with strong emotive power in imagery and messaging had the potential to engage men to make them feel more comfortable talking about their mental health. The creative approach works cohesively as an integrated campaign across online and offline channels. We are pleased with the high quality of the work"

June Jones

Campaign and Strategy Lead


Across all the social media channels of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the campaign has had an audience reach of 66,148 on social media to date. Engagement levels have been excellent especially on Facebook. There’s been an engagement rate of 7.5% on Facebook and 1.9% on Twitter. An engagement rate of 1% is considered high on Twitter and Facebook, which we’ve vastly exceeded.

Since the launch of the campaign 85% of all visitors to the website have been new, and interestingly just over half (54%) has been from organic searches suggesting good brand awareness generated by the outdoor poster and TV advertising. Also, users who searched for Time to Change Wales organically stayed on the website longer which suggests we are reaching new audiences who are genuinely interested in Time to Change Wales and removing stigma around mental health.

To find out more on Clout Branding visit their The Drum Recommends profile.

Advertising The Drum Recommends: Commended Creative

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