|Title||STATE OF MIND|
|Product / Service||MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS|
|Category||B01. Brand-led Education & Awareness|
|Entrant||AIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||R/GA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA|
|Production||AIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|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|
|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|
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.
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.
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.