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Mental Health Awareness in Advertising

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? 

That’s right – May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States since 1949. This month-long observance has become widely prominent, especially within the last few years, with increased prioritization of mental health and mental health resources. Aiming to reduce the stigma surrounding it.

In a year like 2021, people all over the globe are attempting to cope with both the physical and emotional challenges COVID-19 has presented us with. It is crucial now more than ever that we pay close attention to and care for our mental health and the mental health of others.

At SoStereo, we love seeing mental health prioritized, especially in widely consumed areas, such as in advertising and the media. 

Here are a few excellent examples of different companies and brands using their platform to propel positive conversations about mental health and increase awareness:

TBWA\London x The Book of Man — Sound the Excuse

TBWA\London and the men’s media platform The Book of Man co-launched a unique, online tool where employees visit and are met with a hilarious page of excuses to dismiss themselves from work to tend to personal and mental health. 

The message here, of course, is that no one should have to make an excuse to look after their mental health. The campaign’s goal is to combat Zoom fatigue – a sensation coined last year which defines the negative impact working from home and being tethered to your computer has on your mental health (according to their research, affecting over 80% of work-from-homers). 

The page of laughable work escapes offers plenty of comedic relief from an otherwise stressful time, and they have also provided legitimate mental health resources.

JanSport — #LightenTheLoad

JanSport researched the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of the Gen Z population of the US. They discovered that 7 out of 10 Gen-Z-ers felt bogged down by their mental health, especially in the context of 2020. Following this, they launched their #LightenTheLoad campaign to raise awareness of mental health and increase conversations about it among this younger demographic. They used clever phrases such as: “if you’re not sharing it, you’re carrying it” and “if something’s weighing you down, let it out” to drive the campaign. 

JanSport asked young people around the US to share their experiences with mental health. These stories were collected and shared across social media to raise awareness for mental health.

Maybelline — Brave Together

Maybelline New York first launched its “Brave Together” campaign in 2020. However, it was created as a long-term support program to provide constant resources and support(?) for those struggling with anxiety and depression worldwide.

They focused their efforts on women ages 14 to 24 since that is the demographic of Maybelline’s consumers with an initiative to provide them with the tools to manage and improve their mental health. To accomplish this, they have worked with various universities, charities, and educational programs to collect valuable and meaningful data on mental health issues. Their website features stories from young women nationwide on mental health and mental health-related problems. 

In addition to the full-fledged “Brave Together” campaign, Maybelline has prioritized training all of its employees in mental health first aid and has committed to investing over $10M to mental health organizations worldwide over the next five years. Go Maybelline!

The media is a powerful tool that we are all exposed to countless times a day. It is fantastic to see companies such as those mentioned above focusing their efforts to create such positive change globally, especially around an issue as prevalent as mental health awareness. 

We are excited to see more companies and brands do the same and are proud to be a part of an industry that is prioritizing mental health!

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