This online tool will make fake noises to help you escape tedious Zoom calls

Men's media platform Book of Man created campaign with TBWA/London for World Mental Health Day

Published On
Oct 12, 2020

Editor's Pick

If a daily diet of endless Zoom calls is stressing you out, a campaign that broke for World Mental Health Day has one solution. 

Men's media network Book of Man and agency TBWA/London have come up with Sound the Excuse, a website where you can activate fake noises to get you out of online meetings. They range from the prosaic (kids arguing, food delivery) to the more outlandish (your cat throwing up, a wasp invasion or an escaped chicken). 

For those of us who think we have enough real-life disruptions while WFH without needing to invent them, there’s a serious point to all this:  TBWA says it came up with the idea to launch the microsite as an answer to Zoom fatigue, which research shows is contributing to poor mental health as a result of lockdown—80% of British people say working from home has had a negative effect on their mental well-being.

The campaign launched across social and U.K. digital outdoor screens this past weekend in time for World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10. The platform drove users to content housed under The Book of Man’s “Life in Lockdown”’ initiative, designed to help men and those around them navigate through the pandemic, with articles, advice and links to resources on how to look after mental health.

“It’s clear we sometimes need to step away from endless video calls,” says Andy Jex, chief creative officer at TBWA London. “But it’s not always easy. Nobody should have to make up an excuse to get out of video calls to protect their mental health—but for many that’s the only option.”

“More than ever, men and the people around them are looking for inspiration of how to adapt and for many it's the first time they are openly discussing the issues they are facing,” adds Mark Sandford, co-founder of The Book of Man. “Sound the Excuse is a campaign we are proud to align to that says it’s ok to not be ok, that lets people know that new ways of working are not always easy. Not just for men but for everyone. By addressing the issue of video call fatigue head on we hope this will shine a brighter light on the wider challenges of this new way of working.”


Oct 12, 2020
Client :
Book of Man
Agency :
Illustrator :
Alejandro Parrilla Gala
Sound Studio :
Wave Studios
Sound Engineer :
Parv Thind
Sound Engineer :
Dugal MacDiarmid
Website Developers :
Crew Studios
Chief Creative Officer :
Andy Jex
Managing Director :
Katie Jackson
Creative Team :
Harriet Russell-Vick
Creative Team :
Lauren Buggins
Design :
Aaron Moss
Design :
Kumal Shah
Editor :
Dan Ogunsanwo
Production :
Poppy Manning
Media Buying :

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