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Brands back World Mental Health Day: Asics, Dave, Snap & more unveil initiatives

Asics is among the brands marketing World Mental Health day with a feel-good initiative / Asics

Following World Mental Health Day, The Drum explores the initiatives brands are putting in place to raise awareness and help support people with conditions like anxiety, depression and more.

Each year on 10 October the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises World Mental Health Day.

This year, the day of awareness comes at a time when daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Across the globe, health-care workers are providing care in difficult circumstances. Students and employees are adapting to taking classes and working from home – all with little contact with friends and colleagues. A vast number of people are caught in poverty with limited protection. Those with existing mental health conditions are experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And all the while, many are coping with grief and loss.

As a result, the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is to drive increased investment in mental health.

Ad agencies have provided us with a snapshot into what support is being offered in the industry. However, following of World Mental Health Day on Saturday, The Drum explores how brands are rising to the challenge and funneling their advertising spend into campaigns that highlight the importance of mental wellbeing and support those facing mental health challenges — from anxiety to depression.


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Asics EMEA is sharing inspiring stories from people who have discovered the benefits of sport and movement on their mental wellbeing.

The ‘In My Shoes’ audio stories are designed to be listened to on the move, so people can experience what it’s like to put themselves in the shoes of the storyteller.

The running shoe company is also organising a virtual run to mark the day, inviting participants "to run in solidarity" and raise awareness of mental health issues as well as how to take care of ourselves and each other.

Dave, Calm and Murdock London Barbers

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Entertainment TV channel Dave, and CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably), are raising awareness of World Mental Health Day in a continuation of their long-running, award-winning partnership.

They have also joined up with Murdock, the London-based barbers whose staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid, to further encourage positive conversations surrounding mental health, activated by in-store ambient media and supported by both on and off-air media.

TV ads and social posts, produced by UKTV Creative with senior social editor Aaron Gillies, follow a similar theme and are made up of humorous and uplifting messages. More importantly, they signpost audiences to CALM's life-saving helpline.

Dune and YoungMinds

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Footwear and accessories brand Dune London is supporting charity partner YoungMinds with a range of charitable accessories that will be available in Dune London stores and online. Unisex items include a reusable canvas tote bag and a choice of face masks, from which 100% of profits will be donated to YoungMinds.

Actor Gillian Anderson is taking an ambassador role for Dune London in support of the charity.

The Book of Man

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TBWA\London has partnered with the award-winning men’s media platform The Book of Man to launch an online tool that allows employees to escape the tyranny of video calls with a humorous and unquestionable excuse.

The agency came up with the idea to launch the microsite 'Sound the Excuse' as an answer to zoom-call fatigue, which research shows is contributing to poor mental health as a result of lockdown. 80% of Brits saying working from home has had a negative effect on their mental wellbeing.

The campaign launches across social and digital outdoor screens this weekend


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ITV and STV upped its mental wellness campaign Britain Get Talking into a week-long fundraiser in the lead up to World Mental Health Day.

The fundraising week featured bespoke content across ITV’s daytime programming, ITV News and Regional News coverage as well as a new campaign created in collaboration with Uncommon Creative Studio.

Lorraine Kelly and Iain Stirling lent their names to the campaign to encourage viewers to think about the life-changing impact a single call could have.

The campaign debuted in October 2019 by pausing the live show of Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.

Bauer Media

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Bauer Media and Where’s Your Head At? have partnered with mental health charity Chasing the Stigma to launch #PledgeKindness.

A campaign that filled ad breaks to remind people to do something kind for another human on Absolute Radio, Magic Radio and Hits Radio.

The campaign has been supported by stars such as Little Mix, Olly Murs, James Bay and Laura Whitmore, all of which will be sharing their stories of kindness and inspiring fans to get involved too.


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The meditation app Headspace has teamed up with Snap to offer two meditations that will feature on Headspace Mini, a space on Snapchat where users can practise meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Headspace Mini was created to address the rising levels of stress among Snapchatters in the US. A new survey conducted by GroupSolver found 73% of Snapchatters reported feeling more stressed than they did last year. It also found that approximately one-third of US users and one-fifth of users in France and the UK use meditation to cope with stress.

Each meditation is roughly six minutes long. 'Choose Kindness' focuses on practising kindness while 'Take on the School Year' is focused on navigating uncertainty at school.


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To mark World Mental Health Day, the pharma company Janssen has refreshed its 'Breaking Depression' campaign for a second year.

Supported by the Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN), and the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness, 'Breaking Depression' aims to raise awareness of the challenges of living with different types of depression.

'Breaking Depression' uses kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken objects with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, as a metaphor for mental health. As part of the campaign, eight works of kintsugi art have been created, each inspired by stories from people living with MDD.

The mending of the broken ceramics celebrates each object’s cracks and imperfections while also reflecting the complex and lengthy repair process. Not only is this the very thing that makes each piece unique but it also shows that the object has had a life of its own and a story to tell.

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