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Advertising Mental Health Ad Council

The Ad Council partners with musicians to encourage young adults to talk about mental health


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 5, 2019 | 4 min read

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is September and the Ad Council’s ‘Seize the Awkward’ campaign is partnering with musicians Aminé, Hayley Kiyoko, Christina Perri and Lindsey Stirling to empower teens and young adults to talk about mental health with their friends.

Seize the Awkard

Seize the Awkward encourages young adults to talk about mental health

The video series features an anthem spot and four personal story videos, with the artists sharing their own personal experiences of how starting a conversation about mental health with friends has impacted their lives. Throughout September, the national public service campaign, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and The Jed Foundation (JED) will run on digital, social and media platforms popular among teens and young adults to encourage them to reach out to friends who might be struggling.

“This extraordinary group of musicians and major digital platforms gives us the opportunity to authentically reach and engage teens and young adults throughout the country,” said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive of the Ad Council. “Each of these musicians has an impactful, relatable story that will hopefully encourage young adults to start important and potentially life-saving conversations.”

The digital-first creative content, including social videos produced with award-winning digital studio Portal A and radio spots, features the popular musicians with a total social audience of nearly 20 million. In addition to starring in the videos, the musicians will also be amplifying their own personal stories across their platforms.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults and for every youth suicide it is estimated that 100-200 others attempt suicide, according to the CDC. Young adulthood is a critical time when many people experience mental health issues as well as significant stress from life transitions, like returning to school or departing for college.

“We commend each of these musicians and Portal A for supporting the campaign and bringing greater awareness by sharing their personal stories of taking care of our mental health in the same way we would our physical health,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of AFSP. “Together, we can support each other in having conversations about struggles in our lives, and promoting help seeking and treatment when needed.”

The four musicians join a group of more than 20 digital talent and traditional celebrities including Liza Koshy, Markiplier, Hannah Hart and Tyler Posey, among others who have created content on behalf of Seize the Awkward. As trusted voices to young adults, particularly 16-to-24-year-olds, talent play a critical role in reaching the campaign target audience. Talent has amplified the Seize the Awkward message beyond the total audience of more than 50 million by creating over 30 pieces of content which have garnered more than 16.5m views. Most recently, the campaign launched a personal video story with Billie Eilish in a month which has received more than 4m views.

See the videos by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

Seize the Awkward Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by Portal A & The Ad Council

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