Youth charity ‘The Mix’ encourages young men to talk in new mental health awareness campaign, devised by school students from London’s Harris Academy

Published on:

A new advertising campaign to encourage young men to discuss their mental health is set to launch this week, as part of a collaboration between youth charity The Mix and marketing communications group Dentsu Aegis Network. 

‘Guys, it’s okay to talk’ is a series of 30-second films that have been developed by Dentsu Aegis Network’s digital agency 360i and will air for two weeks from Friday 11 January. Each film looks to tackle an individual mental health issue that young men suffer, from body issues and feelings of isolation to family relationships and depression.

In the series of four films, the audience will see extreme close-ups of a young person while a female voiceover discusses the emotional impact that an incident is having on them. It is only at the end of the film that the audience sees that the issue being discussed is actually experienced by a young man. 

The campaign is the result of a year’s work with five secondary-school students who came up with the idea of tackling mental health among their peers as part of a digital marketing competition set by Dentsu Aegis Network.  

The students, from the Harris Academy in the London borough of Mitcham, won the chance to see their campaign brought to life in Dentsu Aegis Network’s next generation talent competition, Rise Upin 2017. The competition, which forms part of the network’s school’s programme The Code, invited students from schools across the UK to submit advertising campaign ideas that tackled a societal issue that was close to their hearts. 

The students then worked with 360i and The Mix to develop their idea and see the finished adverts run across online video, radio and cinema nationwide. 

This campaign was made possible thanks to the backing of a host of media partners who were identified by Dentsu Aegis Network’s media investement arm Amplifi and provided more than £X,000 of free media space. These include Channel 4, Digital Cinema Media, Pearl & Dean, Oath, Global Radio, TalkSport, Spotify, and Sky Sports.

Kate Howe, Chief Growth Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network said: “By whichever barometer you choose to measure it, the idea that the winning students came up with really deserved to be brought to life. It’s a powerful message and one that we hope will make a real difference for young men. It also showcases everything that we hoped The Code would achieve and demonstrates the creative talent that can be found in places where our industry often fails to look.”

Rikke Wichmann-Bruun, Managing Director, 360i said: “Working on this campaign was a unique experience, as it offered us the chance to get crucial insights from the students at every stage of the its development. They showed us what it felt to be them and the challenges they face every day. Helping them realise their vision in these four authentic films with The Mix was a truly special experience and we firmly believe it can make a tangible difference for young men across the country.”  

XXX XXXX, The Mix said: “[TBC]”

‑ ENDS ‑

Notes to Editors:


All 360i

Melissa Ditson – Creative Director

Beki Reilly – Creative

David Houston – Creative

James Woldringh – Creative

Jessica Nguyen-Phuong – Production

Harry Hitchens – Film Director 

For further information contact:

Mandy Rayment

Head of Communications

T: +44 20 7550 3253


About The Code

The Code is a national schools programme delivered by Dentsu Aegis Network’s employees to inspire and make a positive impact on the next generation of talent. The Code launched in March 2017 across 40 UK schools, delivering a series of talks and digital skills workshops to 14-18 year old students from a broad range of backgrounds, providing first-hand experience of the advertising and media industry.The Code, which stands for Creativity, Opportunity, Diversity and Empowerment, also incorporates wider activity by Dentsu Aegis Network around early careers recruitment, with group-wide work experience and apprenticeship schemes also forming part of the programme. It is the first scaled social purpose and talent programme of its kind to run across all Dentsu Aegis Network agencies and offices across the UK.

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 40,000 dedicated specialists.

About 360i

360i is a progressive digital agency powered by curiosity. 100 people, 23 nationalities spanning insight-led planning, social, creative and performance media. We are pushing to be the most progressive agency within Dentsu Aegis Network, always striving to make tomorrow better than today. We have a mix of clients across multiple sectors, including IKEA, Lidl, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Eurostar and TSB.