Having previously aired a silent ad break to encourage people to talk to each other and reduce anxiety and depression, ITV is now addressing mental health in the U.K. at an even more pressing time.
As people in the U.K. are now urged to follow "social distancing" during the coronavirus outbreak, the broadcaster is now encouraging people to post their own messages on social media under the "get talking" hashtag. The effort kicked off on Saturday night with an appeal by TV presenters Ant and Dec and was followed with efforts from celebrities including Gordon Ramsay, Susanna Reid and Davina McCall (seen here). A selection of the messages will be played on ITV every day, in an effort to keep spirits high across the country.
“Physical isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation," said Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose for ITV, in a statement. "Britain has never needed to connect more, and through Britain Get Talking we want to use ITV to help people feel good, talk more and establish a feeling of unity through these challenging and unprecedented times. Hearing someone’s voice is a proven means of decreasing anxiety and stress, so we want to encourage more talking and more connecting."
The project is part of the ongoing "Get Talking" mental health campaign by agency Uncommon. “ITV have always created more than TV. And in a time when we have never needed each other more, putting people amongst the programming they love is a meaningful and powerful act," said Nils Leonard, Co-founder of Uncommon Creative Studio.