Not Myself Today Campaign for Partners for Mental Health, Ottawa
Designed by Blok Design
Creative Direction: Vanessa Eckstein RGD, Marta Cutler
Design: Vanessa Eckstein RGD, Patricia Kleeberg
Copywriting: Marta Cutler
The first initiative from Partners for Mental Health had an ambitious goal: to raise awareness for the need to improve mental health in Canada, and to gather pledges of support to send to the government, coinciding with the release of the country’s first mental health strategy. The challenge: the subject of mental health is one that provokes fear, anxiety and misunderstanding. Consequently, most people do not see the issue as one that affects them or their family.
We needed to reverse that perception and create an experience that would draw people into a conversation, encourage a more open relationship with their feelings, and inspire them to pledge their support.
The campaign idea, “Not Myself Today”, was based on a shared, universal experience: most people have days when they don’t feel like themselves. This was the door opener to convince people that paying attention to these feelings is part of looking after their mental health.
To encourage dialogue and create impact, the identity of the campaign had to be bold yet personal and comfortable. To do this, we created a spectrum of Not Myself Today moods and corresponding colours that people could identify with, select and wear. We used these in communications on the street, online and in newspapers to provoke engagement and drive people to a website where people could learn more and pledge their support.
The final event in the month-long campaign was a day of action. It needed a high-impact installation to engage people, attract media and encourage pledges. Our solution: an enormous wall constructed out of mood pins strategically located in the heavily travelled Yonge and Dundas intersection in the heart of Toronto. The bold rainbow of colours acted as a lightning rod, drawing people in, while the simple act of selecting their mood sparked dialogue, released stories and inspired hundreds of pledges of support. After the month-long campaign, we had collected over 28,000 pledges from across Canada, a significant number given the challenges surrounding the issue.