As is the case with any conference I attend, there are always so many insights and new campaigns I want to share with the Pitstop team and clients.  

One of my favourite campaigns highlighted at MSIX (Marketing Science Ideas Xchange) from 2016 was the Man Up campaign. It demonstrates how behavioural economics can actually save lives.

Man up campaign – Reality TV driving behaviour change  

I had the pleasure of meeting Jane Pirkis, Director, Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne at the beginning of the day. Jane was the driver behind this campaign. She had spent years on a longitudinal study called “Ten to Men” looking at mental health of boys, 10 to men, 45. A need for behaviour change was identified as in Australia, the leading cause of death for men aged 15 – 45 is suicide. Yes, the number 1 cause.

Jane approached Jennifer Cummins of Heiress Films to collaborate on a documentary to share the insights and influence behaviour change. Their collaboration with Digital Strategist Jackie Turnure delivered exceptional results, and I wasn’t the only one in the room with goose bumps when the women presented this campaign to the conference.

 A key insight that was gained in Jane’s study, when looking at suicide rates in men, was that men who had a high level of self-reliance in their life were at risk – even if other factors such as depression were managed. Science has proved that masculinity is learned, that men are repressing their feelings and this needs to shift.

The campaign, as a result of the collaboration began with a documentary about Gus Worland, a masculine and loveable Sydney Triple M Radio personality, exploring the world of men’s mental health. This aired on ABC with outstanding viewership on air and on iview. This was only the start – they planned to kickstart a national conversation beyond the viewing.

Their aim was to roll this out in three phases:

  • Phase 1 – get people to watch the show
  • Phase 2 – get people to talk and share
  • Phase 3 – take action

The hashtag #ManUp was identified early as one to be adopted for the campaign. They cleverly wanted to turn around a negative colloquial term into something positive. A social analyst was engaged to measure the sentiment before and after, and the conversation shifted significantly. They utilised Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all in different ways to speak to different audiences. As Jackie so eloquently said, they “engaged the collation of the willing”. Left of field influencers such as ladbible got on board to spread this critical message.

Key results:

  • After 12 weeks – Facebook page had gained 21,000 likes and reached 10 Million people
  • One sponsored Facebook post for $100 alone received 1.7 Million views
  • Twitter gained 1473 followers, reaching 2.4 Million per people per campaign
  • 1200 participated in a survey
  • Not all social analytics are in but there has been a massive increase in use of #ManUp. The public even started to pair it with #speakup which the team then adopted.
  • Other influencers spread the word, such as ladbible and Daily Mail, gaining another 35 Million views.
  • Gus received 12,000 emails about the show
  • The team received countless others
  • 3 Men contacted the team to tell them that watching the documentary, stopped them from progressing their plans at the time to commit suicide – goose bumps.

Using a range of spurs to increase motivation including modelling, framing and collectivism, this is behaviour change at its best.

Watch the Campaign Ad – grab the tissues

View the website here. 

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