The anatomy of an ad: CALM

This ad left a huge impact on me.

The trickery of how it initially takes your breath away to make you conclude ‘surely not’…. I was filled with such overwhelming sadness to be complicit in reading the desperate last words of a vulnerable young man. I couldn’t help but feel betrayed on behalf of Jonathan. The very people who had a duty of care, had essentially betrayed his memory in the most irresponsible way possible. I felt exploited and my heart sank, only for the ad to pull me back into the reality of what this mental health charity had just achieved.

I love how the ad got under my skin. It achieved everything clever advertising should accomplish; from creating a sense of awe to stirring emotions, having visual impact, yet always maintaining focus on the narrative. This is storytelling in its finest form, and deserves its place right up their with that other torchbearer of superlative social activisim – Amnesty International.

Attempting to highlight and draw attention to one of the biggest mental health problems in the country today, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. To donate and find out more, visit

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