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What would you rather do than confront mental health issues?

What would you rather do than confront mental health issues?



According to this Canadian campaign by Partners for Mental Health, pretty much anything:

Gary Watson, executive creative director at agency Capital C told Marketing, “We wanted to present a situation that would put someone in that person’s shoes.” Since we don’t see the woman in the stall, “it could be your boss, it could be your work friend, or it could be someone you don’t know. We wanted it to be very personal. We wanted people to feel how awkward the situation is.”

It’s an approach we tried at the agency where I work, for elder abuse awareness, and we found that the campaign results were quite dramatic. Putting the audience in the place of an implicated observer, it seems, is one example of how negative emotions like guilt can produce a positive impact.

In addition to its emotive appeal, this campaign also puts workplace mental health issues in a practical context, claiming that up to half a million Canadians miss work each day because of mental health issues. Addressing mental health constructively, then, is a business case as well.

In case I’m being too subtle, I’ll just come out and say that I really like this campaign. While there are lots of recent efforts to promote open discussion of mental health, the stigma comes from the discomfort felt by people like the woman in the PSA. They are not bad people, but they need to try harder.

The ad is also in French:

Thanks to Neil Hopkins for the tip.


Partners for Mental Health (Canada)
Capital C, Toronto

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