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Men Encouraged to Start Talking

Men Encouraged to Start Talking

Auckland, 9 June 2014 – Men’s Health Week (9-15 June) has launched with a cheeky marketing campaign that was created by M&C Saatchi. The campaign called ‘Speak Up’ involves speech bubbles being attached to existing advertisements in the Auckland CBD, K Road, Newmarket, Grey Lynn and Ponsonby areas which express a concern a male has about his health, followed by an additional speech bubble that encourages men to start talking about their health.

“Essentially wherever there is a male featured on these sites, we’ve positioned a speech bubble next to his mouth, giving the appearance that he is talking. We basically combed the streets looking for outdoor posters, mannequins, billboards, roadwork signs and movie posters – basically if it had a man involved it was hijack-able media as far as we were concerned,” joked Dave King, CEO (joint) ECD, M&C Saatchi.

Chairman of Men’s Health, Phil Clemas says the campaign is designed to attract the attention of males and encourage them to start talking about their health.

“We are notorious for not discussing problems that are going on with our health, mainly out of fear. The statistics regarding the health of men are getting worse and now we’re in a situation where every three hours a New Zealand male dies of preventable causes. It’s time to start talking about our health.”

King believed by using humour it was more likely men would take notice.

“No one wants to be lectured to so we wanted to create a campaign that would disrupt their thinking, make them laugh, hopefully they might take a photo of it and post it on social media or show a mate in the office or over a beer. Of course the underlying message is to encourage men to speak to a mate if they have a health problem and go see a doctor for a check-up.”

The official launch of Men’s Health Week is a breakfast at Eden Park (9 June 7am-9am) where ‘New Zealand of the Year’ Dr Lance O’Sullivan and the ‘Motivational Guru’ Dr Ed Timings will both speak. The function is emceed by ZM’s Drive host Paul Flynn (Flynny), a natural advocate for men taking care of themselves, having shed 35 kilograms in the past 18 months.

“Despite my wife hounding me constantly to take better care of myself and go to the doctor, it wasn’t until I started experiencing heart palpations that eventually I went to my GP. I was so lucky, the result could have been so different and I could have been a statistic – he told me I was a heart attack waiting to happen. It was a huge wake up for me as a husband and father of three young children. I’ve got irreparable damage as a result of not looking after myself or going for an annual check-up. Your health is so important – guys are hopeless, we need to step up, man up and start talking about it.”

Men’s Health Week is also supported with sponsorship from The Radio Network. A radio campaign will air 9-15 June on Newstalk ZB, Radio Sport and Hauraki. The campaign involves body parts having a voice, again playing on humour to encourage men to start talking about their health issues.

The social media hashtag for Men’s Health Week is #MenStartTalking

For more information go to or go and see your doctor.


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