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Aardman appoints Leeds agency for mental health campaign


Aardman, the animation studio behind Wallace and Gromit, has appointed ilk to promote a major new mental health campaign.

What’s Up With Everyone has been developed in partnership with leading researchers and mental health charities to help young people who are struggling during lockdown and Covid-19.

The campaign is a series of short films, featuring 5 characters with issues related to loneliness, perfectionism, competitiveness, independence and social media.

“What’s Up With Everyone has been a long time in the making, and we’re so pleased that it’s finally live and available for young people to view, especially as mental wellbeing amongst young people is vital now more than ever before,” explained Neil Pymer, Creative Director at Aardman.

“It’s been great working so closely with ilk throughout each step of the approach, and we’re really looking forward to helping to make a difference to young people, however big or small that may be.”

Ilk won a competitive pitch to work alongside the Bristol studios, to develop a communications strategy around the campaign’s creative and will see the agency distribute the content across platforms including TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

It forms part of a wider research project, commissioned and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, which looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health wellbeing of young people.

“This has been a really exciting campaign in the making, and we’ve been thrilled to have been involved from the beginning,” said Nev Ridley, Managing Director at ilk Agency.

“Offering a fully-integrated approach has enabled us to really use our expertise at a time when mental health is arguably more important and more recognised than ever before. It’s been a wonderful campaign to work on and we look forward to helping Aardman make a difference to the wellbeing of young people across the country.”

The campaign was created in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, Loughborough University, the London School of Economics and Politics, young people’s mental health expert, Dr. Dominique Thompson, the Mental Health Foundation and mental wellbeing charity, Happy Space.

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