The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

“Spit it out!”

“Spit it out!”

NHS Scotland has just unveiled a new campaign, “Choose Life, Scotland ” to try to reduce suicides by getting depressed people to open up to those around them.

Created by Frame, the PSA clearly targets young men — who are notoriously close-mouthed when it comes to discussing their feelings or showing any sign of “weakness”. Depicting the depression as a nasty tar-like bit of poison labelled “suicidal” that the poor guy brings up is an unsettling and (hopefully) effective way of giving men permission to get it out.

The campaign also includes radio, paid Internet and social media elements, leading to a microsite with information and crisis contact info. (It even has a “cover your tracks” option so your browser doesn’t share your secret before you’re ready to!)

Monica Merson, acting programme manager for Choose Life said of the campaign: “Crucially this TV advert is about saving lives. By airing the advert later at night when we know men who are feeling suicidal are most likely to be alone and watching TV, we hope to convey the message that they’re not alone and that support is out there. But the first very difficult step is to talk about how they are feeling.”

Considering Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK, it’s a good start.

NHS Scotland
Frame (Glasgow)
The Drum

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more