Pick of the Week: Childline’s ad has a beautiful message for everyone – not just kids

Radiohead’s classic ode to social anxiety has rarely resonated so well.

Childline: ad tells story of a woolly creature who dresses up as a boy to fit in
Childline: ad tells story of a woolly creature who dresses up as a boy to fit in

Most of us have had the experience at some point in our lives of feeling like we have to wear a second skin in order to fit in. It’s bad enough when you’re a grown up, and have (if you’re lucky) developed the emotional resources to navigate that mental place.

When you’re still finding yourself, it can be devastating. Young people were already facing intense pressures from social media, so it’s not surprising to hear that the numbers struggling with body image, sexuality, gender identity and mental health have increased in a year when face-to-face contact has been virtually outlawed for the majority of it.

So this splendid work for Childline from The Gate deserves to be celebrated. It’s a fun animation with great visual imagination, an effective narrative and a message that is worth being reminded of for viewers of all ages, which is powerfully driven home.

Followers of my previous Pick of the Weeks will know that it’s often all about the choice of music for me, and it’s rare to find a stronger symbiotic relationship between ad and tune than that between Childline’s film and Radiohead’s masterpiece of alienation, Creep – to the extent that it feels like you're watching what could have been the original music video (in reality, just a boring recording of the band performing live).

Now, if anyone can find an advertising use for the A Moon Shaped Pool album cut Glass Eyes, you’ll have my admiration forever.

Brand Childline
Title Nobody is normal
Agency The Gate
Creatives John Osborne, Rickie Marsden, Sam Whatley
Production companies Rowdy, Blink
Director Catherine Prowse