We often hear that interruption advertising is wrong and intrusive and before now I could not think of an instance where this might be a good thing to create. Until now that is.
How do you connect with people who are totally isolated from the world, so much so that they feel suicidal? Perhaps the only way is through interruption. But the problem with this type of messaging is that it is often annoying, even unsympathetic to the person receiving it.
To achieve interruption but avoid the downsides McCann Erickson has come up with an idea that has a quiet simplicity about it for Serbia’s Suicide Prevention Office.
This message is projected under a Belgrade bridge that is infamous because it is named after a poet who committed suicide by jumping off it. Some go as far as calling it a symbol of suicide in Serbia. The message projected translates to: You are not alone with the suicide prevention helpline phone number underneath it. The projection is clever in that it can only be seen from the top of the bridge as you look down, making it somehow more powerful.
Some question the efficacy of the message as only 40 of the 1,500 suicides a year are committed off Belgrade bridges. To me the answer is simple, even if it gets one person to think again then surely its worth it. The idea of the campaign is not only to get people at the point of jumping to think again, but also to raise awareness of the growing problem. Too often family members of suicide victims say that they just didn’t see it coming. Maybe this campaign will help a few see more?
Good luck and well done.