As the U.K. goes back into a strict lockdown, broadcaster ITV is continuing its focus on mental health in the new year with a campaign that goes beyond the traditional Happy New Year message, urging people to keep in touch.
A new 60-second spot by Uncommon that broke on Jan. 1 shows real-life photo and video messages from the public through an animated text conversation. It urges viewers to check in on those who might need it most and follow up on those New Year pledges to "catch up soon." The ad kicks off the next round of ITV's "Britain Get Talking" campaign, first unveiled last March during the first phase of the pandemic
“One text a year, after the year we’ve had, just isn’t enough," it says. "So make a resolution, when it crosses your mind, or just because it’s Tuesday...a little chat or quick text is sometimes all it takes to help ease our stress, reduce our anxiety. To remind us, we’re not alone.”
The hero film (above) will be followed by three new animated ads showing text conversations. Each one encourages viewers to reach out by text more often, whatever the excuse (even an accidental "bum dial" can be a great reason to connect, ITV says). The ads will be accompanied by a print campaign, running national newspapers, with speech bubbles mimicking the style of a text conversation.
“Many of us focus on our physical health in January, but our mental wellbeing is just as important," said Susie Braun, head of strategy and communications for ITV Social Purpose, in a statement. "We launched 'Britain Get Talking' because staying connected is good for us all, and after the year we’ve had, it couldn’t be more important. We hope this campaign will get millions committing to stay in touch in 2021.”