Cannes Lions

Strength in Numbers


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The numbers that surround men’s mental health in the UK are frightening:

• 1 in 3 men say they often experience loneliness.

• Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45.

• A man takes his own life every 90 minutes.

And although men’s mental health has never been more widely talked about in the media – men still struggle to talk about their own mental health.

Unlike looking after your physical health, where training routines are easy to find and positively associated with self improvement, men’s mental health is still surrounded by stigma and mystery.

NIVEA MEN believe that care goes beyond skin. And as a brand that helps men care for themselves every day, NIVEA MEN wanted to help men start looking after their own mental health before it became a problem.


Whilst men struggle to talk about feelings - numbers are a language we understand. Numbers help us quantify the world around us. And for men struggling to talk about their feelings - a number can help them start.

Together with the charity Talk Club, we created ‘Strength in Numbers’ – a mental fitness regime that championed a simple question ‘How are you? Out of 10?’ to help men of all ages quantify their feelings and start talking about their mental health.

We kicked off the integrated campaign with Liverpool Football Club - role models of mental strength for millions, asking players to lead by example, sharing their numbers and opening up about their mental health.

Across ATL, Digital and social media we championed the question ‘How are you? Out of 10?’, alongside simple tools to help men check-in with each other’s numbers and practical advice that was easily shareable.


Our own research revealed that despite many high profile advertising campaigns encouraging men to ‘open up’, 44% of men have never talked about how they feel simply because they don’t know how or where to start.

Behaviour change is notoriously difficult to achieve in any embedded behaviour and it was clear that it was going to take more than simply raising awareness to make a difference.

Our strategy was to take a multi-channel approach. To shift talking about your feelings from being perceived as a stigma to a strength and give men the tools to start talking about their mental health too.

We used ATL media and the partnership with Liverpool Football Club to help us raise awareness and tackle the stigma, engaged the audience in digital channels with the practical tools they need to get started, and used role models to help normalise this new behaviour in social media.


We launched the integrated campaign with Liverpool Football Club in UK cinemas with an emotive call to arms - using the lyrics to iconic Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’.

In support of the campaign players like James Milner and Joe Gomez lead the way in social media, talking about their numbers during challenging times in their career - agreeing to swap the shirt numbers they were famous for ones that represented their feelings.

In digital and social media we shared simple drills to help men check-in with each other’s numbers and practical advice that was easily shareable.

‘The Head Skills Academy’ trained up grass roots football captains to take our mental fitness drills back to their teams across the country.

From there the conversation spread beyond football with micro-influencers and mental health advocate and presenter Roman Kemp sharing their numbers on social media during mental health awareness week.


The primary objective for our launch year was to drive awareness and consideration amongst 18-55 yr. old men. With that in mind the campaign was a success reaching over 30 million people across the UK with over 82 pieces of media coverage, with engagement amongst 18–44 year old men at +51%.

Men were engaged too, with social content engagement +21% above the benchmarked average, whilst we grew the Nivea Men social following by +11.5%.

From a behavioural change perspective, over 89% of men exposed to the content said they are more likely to consider speaking about their mental health and 84% of respondents felt Nivea Men cared about men’s mental health.

And importantly we were able to demonstrate that in the period of the campaign running, we improved overall brand penetration by 5% and contributed to a sales uplift of +2.8%.

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