Mental health goes mainstream with Ant & Dec for ITV, Harry & Meghan for NHS

NHS England’s “Every Mind Matters” campaign gets the royal treatment with voiceovers from Harry, Megan, Will and Kate, who urge us to look after our mental health.

The line up of stars in the ad, which was written by Richard Curtis and directed by photographer Rankin, reminds us how widespread mental health issues can be. Bradley Wiggins, Davina McCall, Gillian Anderson, Nadiya Hussain, Professor Green, Alastair Campbell, Glenn Close, and Freddie Flintoff are among those in the film, which directs viewers towards an online platform that help deal with stress, mood, sleep, and generally feeling more in control.

Meanwhile, at the weekend, ITV and Uncommon launched the “Britain Get Talking” campaign, which also opts for a positive message and emphasises mental wellness.

The Saturday night takeover involved a period of enforced silence during Britain’s Got Talent, when viewers were urged to talk to one another. There’s a lot of power in silence, and the campaign will no doubt have encouraged people to fill the void provided by ITV, but surely the awkward minutes could also highlight the loneliness of people watching BGT solo on a Saturday night?

ITV celebrities from shows like This Morning, Coronation Street and Emmerdale all appeared without sound or movement:

And in a commercial break, marketers Gillette, SEAT, Dunelm, and Network Rail provided silent ads.

ITV’s campaign is part of a five-year commitment by ITV and is supported by mental health charities Mind and YoungMinds.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.