It’s rare that an ad campaign impresses me. Initiates an “aha” moment. Most ad campaigns make me roll my eyes and often make me feel downright insulted that someone came up with that creative, someone fronted the money, and someone approved it for print and broadcast.
The simplest yet most impactful ad campaign I’ve seen recently is that by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Mental health. What a doozy. But rather than making their services the main focus of their ads, CAMH highlights everyday stigma.
As a side note, this is something the Underwear Affair did well, by lumping all those “below the belt” cancers (which tend to get ignored because who wants to think about your colon, uterus, and prostate) and making it sexy and fun. People are running in their skivvies, come on. And it brings up a chuckle. And people can feel more comfortable talking about, learning about, and donating to, cancers from “down under.”
Now CAMH didn’t set out to make mental health humourous. The media and society does a good enough job making individuals with mental health issues the butt of jokes, or the cause of fear. CAMH’s ads bring to light how prevalent mental health issues are, and how subtle they can be. Most importantly, they used language I’m sure we’ve all used or heard in conversation with someone expressing their frustration over their own life or situation.
The ads manage to remind everyone that mental health issues are too often downplayed, leaving some to “suffer in silence.” The ads are to get those suffering from mental health issues, and their network, comfortable with acknowledging mental health issues and talking about them, and seeking the appropriate help.
And, as an aside, from the design point, love it. White text on different colours, non-serif, simple, clean, there you go. And the video campaign is equally simple and clear and impactful.
In closing: wow, CAMH.