How Calm stopped pedestrians in their tracks with a ‘Call for Help’

Ocean Outdoor and Adam&EveDDB won the Grand Prix at The Drum Out of Home Awards 2019 with their ‘Call for Help’ work for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm). In this case study, they reveal the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.

The challenge

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) is a leading male suicide prevention charity, providing support for men in the UK and campaigning to get men talking to demystify the problem.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. 75% of all suicides are male. A man kills himself every 2 hours. 12 lives are lost every single day. The statistics go on and on.

Despite this, suicide remains a stigmatised, silent killer which is not talked about in the media, with many men feeling unable to reach out for the help they so desperately need.

With 200 men calling the Calm helpline every evening, Calm needed to find a way to get people to truly understand the severity of the problem, destigmatise the issue, and raise awareness around the vital support available.

The strategy

Rather than simply publicising the fact that 200 people contact the helpline every evening, the scale and severity of which is difficult to visualise, we wanted to show them, turning the statistic back into people by highlighting each real call individually as a reminder that a real person is on the other end of the line.

Outdoor environments are a key way to drive campaign awareness, at scale, in multiple locations and digital screens are a particularly effective vehicle for using dynamic and live content to capture and hold audiences’ attention.

The campaign

Working with Adam&EveDDB, the ‘Call For Help’ campaign used live data to demonstrate the number of daily calls answered by Calm and aimed to remove the stigma of reaching out, while encouraging people to visit the charity’s website and learn how they can ensure no call goes unanswered.

Imitating a mobile phone, the creative was activated via Ocean’s portrait digital displays in London, Manchester and Birmingham. The DOOH screens were connected live to Calm's free and anonymous helpline and mirrored the incoming calls in real time, showcasing how many people are opening up and receiving support from Calm every day.

Working in tandem with Calm's existing OOH awareness campaign, a static ad linked to Calm's helpline was interrupted every time a call was answered, alerting passers-by with a loud ringtone – mimicking a mobile phone – to capture their attention.

The screens then switched to a ‘call in progress’ phone screen, demonstrating in real time how many calls were being answered. The campaign helped emphasise the immediacy with which people can be helped when they’re experiencing a difficult time.

The results

The campaign stopped people in their tracks and got people talking throughout London, Birmingham and Manchester. Furthermore, the campaign was shared via social media and achieved an additional earned media reach of 31,000, extending the conversation and raising awareness around the issue even further afield.

This project won the Grand Prix at The Drum Out of Home Awards 2019. Click here to register your interest in next year’s awards.

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