The British TV channel, ITV has decided to bring forward the launch of the “Britain, Get Talking” campaign to help people’s mental health during the current pandemic.
ITV was set to launch the campaign in May but have taken Just a week to update the campaign so it is more relevant to the current crisis and takes into consideration social distancing. ITV’s director of social purpose, Clare Phillips said,
“We were watching what’s happening with the coronavirus and seeing it slowly unfold, then it was about a week and a half ago the team and I thought there’s this issue that’s coming so quickly and it is going to have such an impact on our mental health that we can’t wait until May, which is when we’d planned this campaign with lots of bells and whistles. We have moved quite quickly on [this campaign] and made it happen within a week, which is a good thing to have done.”
The company have obviously had to tweak a lot of its content but fortunately, the majority of it remains pretty much the same and in a lot of ways it is more relevant now than it might have been a few months ago as we are forced to connect with loved ones digitally.
Phillips explained, “We were struck by this piece of research that said we have never been so connected with mobile phones and broadband, but actually we are talking less than we have been before. While we’ve got the opportunity to talk to people, we instead prefer to use text messaging, or messaging or email. That does have an impact on our ability to connect with each other because talking is proven to reduce stress and anxiety.”
It would appear that everything the ITV has focused on is led by mental health experts. The company has suggested that they are practising what they preach by making sure that their staff are taking care of their mental health.
The campaign kicked into gear this past weekend at the end of the ever-popular, Saturday Night Takeaway. The TV spot was designed to encourage people to reach out and get in contact with friends and family. It also coined the hashtag #BritainGetTalking. The channel will continue to push its campaign over the coming weeks. There has been a separate spot filmed featuring Ant and Dec where the focus is on people who are isolated and alone.
The ITV has also filmed an advert with their popular physician, Dr Hilary Jones. This particular bit will encourage people to get in contact and take care of elderly relatives and loved ones who may be struggling with self-isolation.
This is the second incarnation of the campaign which launched last October and was designed to help the nation improve both their mental and physical well being by 2023. It estimated that almost three million people used the hashtag and reached out to love ones following Saturdays TV spot.
Phillips said, “The thing we are obsessed about and think about when developing these campaigns is, what is the action this is going to translate into? What do we want people to do as a result of this campaign? Some of the team have a background in planning so it’s our bread and butter. We have a separate tracker for social purpose campaigns, we are constantly looking to see how well they landed, did they get recognised, did people enjoy them, what was the message take out, did they think it was relevant, did it affect their impression of ITV?”
The ITV should be commended for their efforts and they have already been rewarded by various mental health charities acknowledging the good work they are doing.