It can be uncomfortable to reach out to friends to see how they’re doing, even when the world isn’t on lockdown. But social isolation today has intensified, and everyone is at risk of feelings of loneliness and depression.
While many adults are dealing with childcare issues, the stressors of working from home or job loss, young people are missing many of life’s milestones: graduation, prom, internships and first jobs. That isolation puts them at increased risk of suicide, the leading cause of death among young adults.
A new music video for the long-running suicide prevention campaign “Seize the Awkward” presents dozens of ways to reconnect with friends who may be having a tough time. “Whatever Gets You Talking” features rapper Akinyemi, as well as singer Meghan Trainor and music and influencers Addison Rae, Avery Cyrus, Bryce Xavier, James Henry, The McFarlands, Molly Burke, mxmtoon and Zach Valentine and Pat Ramirez.
The spot was created pro bono by Droga5 and is directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa, and the campaign is a collaboration between the Ad Council, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Jed Foundation.
In the video, Akinyemi lays out different ways to reach out to friends, from getting a fake tattoo to connecting in virtual reality. Each example is illustrated with animation, found footage and mixed media. The video is the first work created and directed remotely by either the Ad Council or Droga5.
“Whatever Gets You Talking” will air in primetime during the “Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020” special on May 16 at 8 p.m. Snap is donating two Snapchat filters and Google, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Tumblr are donating media. Three dozen artists have created more than 70 gifs and stickers now available on GIPHY, and the song can be streamed on Spotify.