Cannes Lions

Talking can save lives

BBDO, Dusseldorf / DEUTSCHER CARITASVERBAND E.V. / 2019

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Suicide is the second biggest killer of German youth. Young men are particularly at risk. It’s proven that discussing your feelings is one of the most effective ways to prevent suicide. However, suicide is a taboo topic that isn’t being discussed. We were asked to find a way to bring the topic of suicide out from the shadows and into the conversation of German youth & in doing so highlight the services provide by Caritas [U25] to help young men and women contemplating suicide and avoid tragedy.

Idea

On 10.09.18, the International day of suicide prevention, Caritas launched a mobile game to break the silence. A game that can only be played once. Because just like in real life, every player has ONE LIFE ONLY. But there’s another hidden feature: after completing the game, the app turns into a messenger, connecting people in need directly with Caritas’ counsellors.

Strategy

Young men in particular, are very tough to reach because they are far less open to speak about their feelings than females. We knew gaming was very popular amongst our target group & decided this was an authentic way to deliver our message. By delivering them a message discreetly and by providing them direct access to help through a messenger, we knew we could reduce social and cultural pressures and therefore increase the chance we could help.

Execution

The player controls a character, who loses the ground underneath his feet and falls deeper and deeper into the darkness of depression. The aim is to stay in the light for as long as possible by capturing heart shaped balloons and avoiding the mind monsters that drag you down. After playing the game, it can no longer be played. But the app continues living on their mobile phones, transforming itself into a direct helpline messenger to the folks at Caritas suicide prevention, so that help is immediately available in case of a crises situation. The game ONE LIFE ONLY created a very simple and authentic way to reach a difficult audience on a very sensitive taboo topic. The main aspect of the execution was to promote a dialogue about suicide and depression which is proven to be one of the best ways to save lives. This dialogue consisted of two main forms. A social dialogue through influencer content and a more direct dialogue with Caritas councilors through the games messenger service.

Outcome

The game was spread by some of the most important influencers in the German gaming scene. A positive discussion was started in the community. Young men shared their feelings and experiences in long social posts. We can’t measure if we saved a single life, but after the launch of the game, there was such a huge increase in demand for Caritas’ services that they had to engage the help of all the other suicide support teams throughout the country to deal with all the requests.

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Talking can save lives

BBDO, Dusseldorf

Talking can save lives

2019, DEUTSCHER CARITASVERBAND E.V.

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