Recently we have been working with several organisations on public health campaigns. As ever, the aims are to improve health outcomes and increase public awareness on health and care issues facing particular audiences. As a creative agency, we spend lots of time thinking about “what good looks like”, and we saw a few campaigns last year we believe have hit the nail on the head.
It’s a crowded marketplace; audiences are bombarded with information continuously. It takes a unique campaign to cut through the noise and stand out in someone’s social feeds.
So now we’re in the new year, and because everyone likes end-of-year lists, here are three health and care campaigns from 2019 we loved (and one we did not).
I found my favourite right at the start of the year – and it was a big surprise. TheLADBible is a social media publishing company that finds its way into the social feeds of 2.4 million men aged 18-24 in the UK – that is nearly half of that particular demographic in the country. They developed a social media campaign, backed by a range of charities, to raise awareness around mental health issues in young men.
Inspired by the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of British men under 45, the campaign aimed to encourage young men to talk to each other and open up about issues they were dealing with every day.
It was a huge success, reaching over 38 million people on social media. It spoke to the intended audience in an environment, language, and on terms they understood. Impressive and sensitive – well done, LaDBible!
It might be cheating to mention a yearly campaign that has been running since 2017, but the “Give HIV the finger” campaign continues to deliver in terms of the impact. It is approaching National HIV Awareness Week as I write this, reminding me how excellent this campaign is.
Celebrity endorsements, a clever strapline and really eye-catching visuals. It conveys the critical points of the campaign so effectively that the audience can decode the key messages in seconds. Perfect as it flies past you on the side of a bus or as you quickly scroll down your news feed.
This campaign caught our eye due to the sheer number of leading charities in the UK that have come together to promote such a positive and engaging behavioural change message.
The aim is to support and inspire people with long-term physical and mental health issues to become more active as part of their overall wellbeing. The “everyday hero” stories are told beautifully, and the focus on setting personal goals and celebrating small victories is compelling.
We were most impressed by the scope of the organisations involved in creating the message. Mind, Age UK, Diabetes UK, The Alzheimers Society, Macmillan – just to name a few – are all involved.
A holistic approach to health and wellbeing and people becoming partners in their own care were prominent themes in public health in 2019, and this campaign sums these points up perfectly.
Our least favourite campaign with a public health message is….
#feelyourway – Burger King
A real example of how you can miss the mark.
Mental health awareness is undoubtedly on the rise. Campaigns such as “UOKM8?”, listed above, is just one of a large number of awareness drives seeking to help people understand and normalise mental health issues.
This campaign attempts this, but the tone is insensitive, almost sarcastic. It faced severe backlash for being seen as using something as serious as mental health as a tool for poking fun at a competitor rather than using the company’s considerable reach to address a serious issue.
The three campaigns above are successful because they achieve a delicate balance; having heart and humour while delivering a solemn message – which is not easy. So sometimes, it might be a better idea to stick to making burgers.
If you need advice on creating a message that will resonate with your audiences Verve can help. Send a message to [email protected] and let’s talk about how we can maximise your campaign and get your organisation’s messages out there.