75% of suicide deaths in the UK in 2015 were men. There are many speculative reasons for the gender difference in suicide deaths, but one thing is clear. Men do not talk about mental health and wellbeing as much as Women, and that needs to change.
Through this campaign I aim to encourage dialog between men about mental health issues and I aim to make the general public aware of the extent of the male suicide problem. While still remaining sensitive to those that have lost loved ones and without antagonising men suffering with suicidal thoughts.
The concept borrows from an existing design trope, the famous Experimental JetsetBeatles shirt, and tweaks it to alter the meaning of the design. While a knowledge of the original design aids the reader to understand the message, the piece still communicates to an audience with no knowledge of the original design, due to its simplicity and visual metaphor.
For phase one of the campaign I aim to focus on large physical prints, such as billboards and bus stops. This physical campaign will be the basis of all other subsequent campaigns, physical or digital.
A key function of the campaign is for the situation presented to be relatable to the audience, by altering the names on the billboards to match popular names within that region, city, or town.
It is important to be cautious in this approach and try not to use names of men who have recently died. This would include celebrities and men within a reasonable distance of the posters.
Secondly, the call to action. It’s not enough to just include a hashtag in a campaign and hope people feel inclined to tweet about the campaign or post about it on instagram. Successful social media campaigns engage users in more complex ways. Whether it’s the deeply personal #shareacoke campaign or the numerous temporary facebook profile picture campaigns. Succesful viral campaigns have a personal touch.
For this campaign I’ve focused the screen names on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. All of these platforms use Helvetica (or Arial) and all of them allow for typographic symbols in the names. The idea is simple, encourage people to put an & at the end of their name to show they’re open to talk and also to spread awareness.