Campaign features former professional footballer and boxer Leon McKenzie
Dentsu Aegis Network and male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) will challenge negative male stereotypes through a nationwide campaign titled #ChangeThePicture this International Men’s Day (19 November).
Male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45, with 12 men in the UK taking their own lives each day. #ChangeThePicture is a data-driven campaign devised by Dentsu Aegis Network’s digital agency 360i Europe that will run across print, digital out-of-home, online and social.
It will showcase 12 stereotypically masculine photos shared by real men on social media. Each image will be followed by the real story behind that particular image and the moment they shared them to reveal their battles with vulnerability, mental health problems and suicidal thoughts.
One of the men that features in #ChangeThePicture is former professional footballer and boxer Leon McKenzie. Now an ambassador for CALM, McKenzie’s image shows him celebrating a milestone career goal on the pitch surrounded by adoring fans. His reality behind the image was a different story.
McKenzie explains: “Do you see a man that’s happy in this picture? Full of confidence? On top of the world? Actually I was suffering from depression – feeling sad, lonely and empty inside. I was going through so much off the field but I never showed fans, media, team mates or coaching staff the Leon that was suffering.”
The pro-bono campaign has been built through collaboration with several other Dentsu Aegis Network agencies including out-of-home specialists Posterscope, digital-first talency agency Gleam Futures and media investment arm Amplifi.
Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, commented: “CALM has been working for more than a decade to prevent male suicide. Part of our work is providing immediate support for men in crisis. Another key part is striving to change culture and attitudes so that fewer men get to that point at all. #ChangeThePicture is our chance to look at things differently, and help rid our society of all the pressures men feel to be and act a certain way."
Melissa Ditson, Executive Creative Director of 360i Europe added: “Men’s mental health is an issue we care deeply about at 360i. #ChangeThePicture is a hard-hitting campaign with an important message that aims to change behaviour. It’s a powerful creative idea promoting progressive masculinity and has been rewarding for the team to work on, as has working with CALM.”
Mark Creighton, Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network UK said: “We’re delighted to be supporting CALM in their mission to tackle gender stereotypes as one of our chosen charities for gender equality network, ONE. This campaign has been 11 months in the making and has been built on true collaboration and a shared vision between all the parties involved. By working together, we can build an equal, open, and honest environment for everyone.”
Craig Cherry, Procurement Director and Executive Sponsor of #ChangeThePicture, Dentsu Aegis Network said: “We've been truly humbled by the response from everyone involved not just from across our business but the media partners also involved. This work has been born out of an inspirational partnership with the team at CALM, and has the power to really change and challenge expectations.”
#ChangeThePicture invites everyone to take a closer look at the man behind the picture and, by doing so, challenge the damaging and unattainable masculine stereotypes we see across social media and beyond.
For more information and to get involved click here