Friends hugging. Kids in classrooms. Local baseball players high-fiving.
For all of us, these are moments we took for granted before COVID-19. For JP, these everyday snapshots were meant to be highlighted in an upcoming campaign about mental health awareness.
Back in early 2020 (or what feels like three years ago), our team began developing a campaign for Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health. The goals were to inform the community that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to help end the stigma many people face when experiencing mental illness.
We got the green light to film a video featuring a variety of talent around Fresno to deliver the message that one in five adults experience mental illness. The video would be a message of hope, as teachers, students and baseball players would come together to check in with each other and share I’m-here-for-you hugs.
Then, social distancing and shelter-in-place happened. What would the campaign look like now? With no school, no baseball season and no handshakes (let alone hugs) – how would we reframe this message?
New Look, Same Important Goal
We had to quickly update the visual representation of our campaign while preserving the key message: that it’s vital to check in on your family and friends, as well as to check on your own mental health.
Our team edited the script to include a more timely and urgent message, emphasizing the need to reach out even from a distance. We then developed alternative designs and motion graphics options that didn’t involve on-location filming.
The clean graphics move harmoniously in black and white with the standout green color to represent mental health awareness.
In a sea of video voiceovers declaring “in these uncertain times,” we decided to take a calming approach and produce the video sans voiceover. With only a moving music bed and the powerful words, the check-in message serves as the heart of the video.
Cultivating (and Strengthening) Relationships
As news of the shelter-in-place order hit, guidelines were changing every day, and the creative direction of a campaign we spent months refining changed overnight. We’re so thankful that the Behavioral Health team was understanding of the ever-evolving situation and patient with us as we navigated a new look and feel for such an important message.
Check out the final video, and pass along this important mental health message to your loved ones. You can also follow Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health on Facebook and Instagram for self-care tips and ways to promote wellness in your everyday life.
—KATRINA RIGGS, Copywriter