September 8, 2020 Kate

Powerful Brands Save LivesAs we arrive at World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on Thursday September 10, it’s time for CEO’s and their brand managers to contemplate the powerful significance of this issue in the public and the power of their brand to effect change.

No doubt you have a host of objectives in your marketing strategy, but does your brand, could your brand literally save lives?

Would you stay up all night if you knew how to save a life…”

With over 205 MILLION views of this YouTube clip of the song How To Save A Life by The Fray, posted in 2009 and 22 MILLION of this version, and another 80 million plus views of REM’s Everybody Hurts, clearly these songs and this subject resonates with people worldwide and for good reason…

WHO statistics report that every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life – that’s around 800,000 lives lost every year and some estimates put that number closer to one million. But there are a lot of avenues that a brand can bring its power to bear upon:

“Suicide prevention encompasses a wide range of activity including health promotion, early intervention, crisis support and ongoing support for people experiencing suicidal thoughts, aftercare support for people following a suicide attempt, support for carers and suicide bereavement support for families, friends, colleagues and communities impacted by suicide.”

Mental Health Is In the Spotlight

The past 12 months have put mental health in the spotlight and no one is immune to the challenges that doubt, fear or grief can muster in a person. But the response by brands to this epidemic can provide a multitude of ways to genuinely demonstrate commitment to community wellbeing.

Some might view the issue as a delicate subject, so by all means donate money to a relevant cause, but a little more creative and insightful thinking will illuminate ways to channel your funding that can have a profound and immediate effect.

An example of how brands are demonstrating their ability to save lives can be found in the Lions Share Fund, which (as at December 2019) had raised almost three million dollars for wildlife conservation, habitats, and animal welfare. The Fund is an initiative instigated by Australians film director, Christopher Nelius and Rob Galluzzo, founder of production company FINCH, and is premised on participating advertisers donating a very small percentage (o.5%) of their media spend to the fund, which goes directly to finance wildlife conservation and animal welfare globally.

Compassion Comes In Many Forms

So how can a brand use the relevance of suicide in a positive, respectful and meaningful way? The answer depends on who your target market is and what their needs are that the brand can deliver on. It might also depend on whether you are drawing on budget allocated to employee wellbeing. Here are some statistics from a report detailing key themes and early findings to support initial advice of the National Suicide Prevention Adviser to help you identify those most in need:

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people
  • Three quarters of those who die by suicide in Australia are male
  • Some occupational groups have higher rates of suicide
  • Data suggests that LGBTIQ+ experience higher rates of suicide

If employee health is of greater concern to you, especially in the Covid era, you might be more interested in initiatives you can support that might go some way to counter house repossession, increasing levels of debt, mental health and relationship breakdowns. What resources do you have that can offer support eg. do you have a property or venue that can be used, a community to rally, influence in areas that might be beneficial?

What Can Your Brand Do About It?

If you have a budget or resources to allocate in response to an epidemic that’s claiming lives in your community, be it your employees or your customers, what relief, what power does your brand have to provide solutions? Is your budget better spent in buying media advertising or implementing initiatives that engage community and save lives. Could your brand have the power to save lives? How much money does it take to save a life?

For my part, I’m asking anyone reading this who has a campaign idea, a show, project or identified community need that could potentially help a brand or brands to demonstrate their humanity and the power of their brand to heal and/or save lives, to contact me directly. If the concept is valid, I’d like to help identify the right potential commercial partner for that initiative and endeavour to bring it to life.

In the interim, if you or anyone you know is experiencing difficulty, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue, 1300 22 4636 or the Black Dog Institute .

FYI WSPD begins of a month of recognition days around mental health:

  • R U OK Day – September 12
  • Mental Health Month – October 1
  • World Mental Health Day – October 10
  • Movember – November 1

If you would like to know how your brand can save lives or if you have an initiative that can help a brand save lives, please contact me. As with all contact with Wanted Consulting – Reward Offered.

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