O&M's Samaritans ad campaign targets men

Ogilvy & Mather has unveiled a Christmas campaign for the Samaritans.

Ogilvy & Mather has unveiled a Christmas campaign for the Samaritans.

Breaking on 18 December, the campaign will run over Christmas and the New Year and consists of six television spots as well as poster executions.

The ads are targeted at young men and aim to combat the perennial problem of how to get them to express their feelings instead of locking them away inside. The Christmas holiday period is when the male suicide rate in 16- to 25-year-olds soars.

The campaign centres on images of classic boys' toys such as table football, Battleships, Buckaroo, Space Invaders and others.

The TV ads depict visual analogies of situations where it is impossible to cope on one's own. In the table football execution, a single yellow goalie battles an entire team of red players. The Buckaroo spot shows the quivering horse buckling under a towering weight of objects. The press executions mirror the television spots.

Steve Dunn, the creative director at O&M, said: 'We wanted to find a way in which we could get under young men's protective radar and speak to them in a way that made them feel it was normal to need a little help at times.

'By using festive, boyhood icons, we are able to grab men's attention and to give them permission to read the ads thoroughly, even in front of friends.'

The ads use the strapline 'You don't have to deal with it all by yourself' - reinforcing that it is OK to talk.

The TV ads were copywritten by Vicki Maguire, art directed by Paul Cottrell and directed by Vaughan Arnell through Godman.

Lee Powers and Richard Maxted photographed the posters, with typography by Chris Priest and Steve Davies.


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