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Like Minds Grabs Gold In EFFIE Awards

3 September 2002

Like Minds Grabs Gold In EFFIE Awards

A television and radio advertising campaign aimed at changing public attitudes and behaviour towards people with a mental illness has won gold at New Zealand's first Effective Advertising awards.

The Ministry of Health's Like Minds campaign won the ``Charity/Not for profit/Public service'' category at the EFFIE (Effective Advertising) awards last week. The EFFIEs have been held in 19 different countries for the past three decades and were staged in New Zealand for the first time last Thursday.

Like Minds, Like Mine national project manager Gerard Vaughan said he was delighted experts from the marketing arena had recognised the progress Like Minds was making to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

``There is still a long way to go to achieve the project's aim of creating a society that values and includes people with mental illness. It is pleasing, however, to get some recognition for what one part of this comprehensive public health project has achieved so far,'' he said

``This award is a pat on the back for many people, the advertising agency FCB which developed the ads, the many people who contributed to them, the people with experience of mental illness and the 26 regional public health providers who work at the grassroots level on the project.''

Twenty-two of New Zealand's top marketers judged the award. Mr Vaughan said the judges saw the campaign as being well planned, executed and monitored.

He noted that independent research on the Like Minds, Like Mine project showed 80 percent of people over 15 years of age recall seeing the ads. Of this number, 62 percent said they had discussed it with someone else at least once.

``The significance and uniqueness of the EFFIE awards is they focus on both creativity and effectiveness, compared with other marketing awards that focus just on the creative aspect of advertising," Mr Vaughan said.

``As well as the high awareness of the ads, the positive messages that people are taking from the advertising are important.''

Former All Black John Kirwan, musician Mike Chunn, singer Mahinarangi Tocker and fashion designer Denise L'Estrange-Corbet were among the New Zealand celebrities who took part in the television campaign. Radio discussions in the language of Maori and Pacific peoples also pushed the message to ethnic communities.

Mr Vaughan said the ads model the research findings -- that supportive friends and colleagues can make a big difference to the lives and recovery of people with experience of mental illness.

Research shows the messages people are taking out of the advertisements, which feature well-known New Zealanders with experience of mental illness and their friends are: 34 percent think mental illness is not shameful, it's an illness like any other, 32 percent think mental illness can happen to anyone and is more common than you think; and 29 percent think New Zealanders should show support, tolerance, understanding and respect of those with a mental illness.

For more information about the Like Mind project, visit the website www.likeminds.govt.nz

Ends

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