Lloyds ads open up about mental health in winning campaign from Channel 4's diversity contest

Lloyds Bank is tackling mental health prejudices in a new ad campaign on Channel 4, the winning work in the broadcaster's Diversity in Advertising Award.

The campaign, created by Adam & Eve/DDB is the second winner of Channel 4’s competition, which awarded £1m in free airtime to a creative idea focused on non-visible disability. 

Celebrities including Professor Green, Jeremy Paxman, Rachel Riley and Alex Brooker feature in Lloyds Bank’s ads, which aim to start more open conversations about mental health. The stars, members of the public and bank employees play a version of the "Who am I?" sticky-note guessing game to explore misconceptions about living with a non-visible disability. 

The spots coincide with research by Lloyds Bank and the charity Mental Health UK, which finds that 75% of people still think there is stigma attached to mental health issues. However 72% of those surveyed say society has a better understanding of mental health, with the openness of celebrities and media coverage believed to have contributed to those improvements.

The hashtag #GetTheInsideOut will encourage people living with mental health conditions to speak up about their experiences. 

Adam & Eve/DDB made two 60-second films that will debut tonight during a special ad break in the final episode of Hunted – coinciding with Time To Talk Day, a national day to break the silence around mental health problems. Four additional 10-second spots feature celebrities pledging their support for #GetTheInsideOut. 

The campaign will also run on All 4. It was created by James Gillham and Graham Cappi, and directed by Max Fisher through Outsider. Greenhouse, Group M’s dedicated Lloyds Bank unit, handled media planning.

Lloyds Bank was initially the runner-up in Channel 4’s second Diversity in Advertising Award, which received more than 50 entries. The previous winner, Volvo, withdrew from the prize in October after claiming that its ad agency Grey London had not shared the winning idea with the brand. 

Channel 4 set up the competition in 2016 to improve diversity in advertising. Mars brand Maltesers and its agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO were the first to win it, with ads that debuted during the Rio Paralympics and depicted people with disabilities in everyday scenarios.

"If this [Lloyds Bank] campaign can encourage the public and advertisers to think a little harder about all aspects of diversity, it can help make a real difference to people’s lives," said Jonathan Allan, the sales director for Channel 4.

Catherine Kehoe, the managing director, group brands and marketing at Lloyds Banking Group, said the brand made the ads to call attention to the fact that one in four people are affected by mental health conditions. 

"We recognise that anyone can be affected by mental health problems and the more we can do to normalise the conversation, the better it is for everyone," she added.