CategoryB01. Brand-led Education & Awareness
EntrantAIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Production AIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Craig Brooks R/GA Sydney Executive Creative Director
Jonathon Shannon R/GA Sydney Copywriter
Natalie Brend R/GA Sydney Group Account Director
Celeste Marsden R/GA Sydney Senior Producer
Honae MacNeill R/GA Sydney Agency Producer
Ariel Martin AIRBAG Director
Megan Ayers AIRBAG Producer
Alex Tizzard AIRBAG Executive Producer, Sydney
Martin Box AIRBAG Executive Producer
Adrian Boisch AIRBAG Managing Partner
Steve Ray - Casting Director
Kate Chapman NRL Senior Marketing Manager
Neesha Eckersley NRL Community Manager Health & Projects
Lani Evans NRL Marketing & Brand Specialist

Describe any restrictions or regulations regarding Healthcare/RX/Pharma communications in your country/region including:


Describe the target audience and why your work is relevant to them.

Australian men, aged 14 to 34. In Australia, mental illness is the largest killer of men aged 15 to 44. They’re three times more likely to die by suicide than women, and young men are most at risk: 75% of all mental illness onsets before the age of 25.

Write a short summary of what happens in the film

A weekend game of rugby league kicks off as a young man is taking on an entire team by himself. He’s getting absolutely crunched. Tackle after tackle, hit after hit; it’s not looking good. Then we see three of his team mates sitting on the sideline. They do nothing to help him, bizarrely deciding that it’s “not their place” to get involved. We then reveal that we’re actually at a weekend barbeque: the three men sitting idly by as their lone friend goes through a tough time, getting ‘hit hard’ by life. One of the men finally decides that he has to do something. He stands up and strides forward, crossing over the figurative sideline to start a simple conversation and check in with their friend. We finish with a simple message: If your mate’s having a tough time, don’t stay on the sideline.

Cultural/Context information for the jury

We worked in close collaboration with four Australian not for profit mental health expert partners (Headspace, The Black Dog Institute, Lifeline, and Kids Helpline) to ensure our film and campaign messaging were both appropriate and effective for our audience. In Australia, mental health issues are still seen as a weakness rather than an illness. There’s a stigma and silence that surrounds depression, with those most at-risk also the most afraid to broach the subject. Rugby League (NRL) is considered one of the toughest sports in the country, played by millions of Australians, and famed for its hyper-masculine traits of aggression and physicality. This campaign is the first time a positive mental health behaviour (starting a conversation with a friend about their emotions) has been connected with a masculine, sporting behaviour (backing up a teammate on the field). “Mate” is the most common colloquial term for “friend” in Australia.


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