ITV launch mental health wellness campaign with the UK’s first silent ad break

This weekend ITV launched its ‘Get Britain Talking’ campaign, in a bid to help people who are suffering with their mental health.

The initiative debuted during the Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions final on Saturday evening. It marks the first stage of a five-year commitment by the broadcaster to promote mental wellness.

Taking to the stage, show hosts Ant and Dec paused the primetime competition for the first time in history. The pair then asked viewers and audience members to take 60 seconds to speak to a loved one.

In an announcement the duo said, “Right, now pay attention everyone and that includes you lot at home, because we’ve got something important to tell you.

“We’d like to introduce the new ITV campaign for mental wellness right here on Britain’s Got Talent tonight.

“In the last 15 years, there has been a staggering 48% rise in anxiety and depression amongst British children. But something as simple as talking together and listening to each other can build our mental wellness.”

Scenes quickly switched to backstage crew who held up place cards which read, “Use our silence to talk to each other.”

The ad break opened with a film featuring ITV favourites including Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield, Jonathon Ross and Dermot O’Leary. In their usual TV setting none of the talent make any sound or movement. However, messages about prioritising mental wellness are woven into the scenes.

The silence continued with a series of TV adverts from Dunelm, Oral-B, Gillette, Seat and Network Rail.

In a statement ITV chief Carolyn McCall said: “At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is this new five-year commitment to help make mental wellness a priority in all our lives.

“We’ve worked with our long-term strategic partner, Mind, as well as YoungMinds to develop Britain Get Talking.

“The campaign highlights the importance of talking and listening in building mental wellness. Ensuring we make looking after out mental health as much of a part of our family lives and culture as our physical health.”

ITV’s latest initiative is a brilliant example of reaching a wide audience and sparking conversation about mental wellness whilst promoting change. Pausing one of its most iconic and popular shows, the channel went beyond its traditional advertising methods. Instead the channel were able to harness its brand power to help get people talking about mental health.

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