THE HIDDEN PAIN

TitleTHE HIDDEN PAIN
ClientSAMARITANS OF SINGAPORE
Product / ServiceSUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE
CategoryA10. Typography
EntrantPUBLICIS SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
Entrant Company PUBLICIS SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
Advertising Agency PUBLICIS SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE

Brief Explanation

In all suicide prevention outreach efforts, the greatest barrier is the tendency for people in distress to hide their emotional pain behind a mask of normal behavior. Unless one has experienced the effects of depression, it is difficult to identify who is at risk of suicide. So the key objective is to find a simple but impactful design solution that makes people realise there is more than meets the eye where suicide is concerned, and creates the urgency to proactively learn the warning signs of suicide.

The Brief

It’s a global fact: a large number of suicides are preventable if the people around potential suicide victims recognise the warning signs and get them help in time. In Singapore, where the number of suicides is at an all-time high especially amount teens, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) wanted to raise awareness among the public, encourage them to look out for their loved ones and use SOS’s 1800 helpline for support and advice.

How the final design was conceived

In the process of discovery, we realised a common theme among people at risk of suicide. They are reluctant to share what they really feel inside. Instead, when people enquire about them, they just put up a false front and claim everything is fine when it’s not. The dichotomy of what they say and what they really feel became a powerful, perception-changing idea expressed in a series of hard-hitting graffiti-style ambigrams that reveal the true feelings of depressed people when turned upside down.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Without any seeding, the ambigrams went viral in 5 days: • Viewed 5 million times in 8 languages • Reblogged 190,000 times on Tumblr and blogged by mental health professionals • Shared 15,000 times on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter • Commented 1,000 times on Reddit and Imgur • Featured on news sites like Huffington Post, FastCompany, Strombo on CBC Canada, Laughing Squid • Recreated by teenagers on their respective Instagram accounts More importantly, the Hidden Pain campaign was able to open up frank discussions by people about their personal experiences with depression, and share their countries’ national helplines online.

Credits

Name Company Position
Issac Goh Wishing Well Digital Imaging Artist
Michael Kan Shooting Gallery Asia Photographer Producer
Sebastian Siah Shooting Gallery Asia Photographer
Lynn Cheng Publicis Singapore Agency Producer
Pei Ling Ho Publicis Singapore Senior Copywriter
Jia Ying Goh Publicis Singapore Senior Art Director
Kris Ng Publicis Singapore Associate Creative Director
Ajay Thrivikraman Publicis Singapore Chief Creative Officer