Mind & EFL Partnership brand
Making Mind relevant to a male audience
- Brand Strategy
- Campaign idea
- Event design
- Launch activation
- Tone of Voice
- Social Media Content
Despite increased awareness of mental health issues, the stigma around getting help remains a barrier for most men. Mind had an opportunity to talk to this ‘hard-to-reach’ audience via a game-changing partnership with the EFL – what became the On Your Side partnership.
Our strategy positioned Mind not as a corporate mental health charity, but as a friendly coach and extended support team for fans themselves. Thanks to the new partnership brand, new brand narrative, assets and campaign, there was a 36% increase in awareness of the EFL and Mind Partnership amongst men. Best of all, Mind is now the much needed go-to for men seeking help.
We are proud to have worked with ODA on this game-changing project for Mind. They brought real commitment, passion and ideas to our partnership, going way above and beyond the brand identity that we’d originally commissioned them to create. True partners, they handed out foam thumbs and shook buckets helping us raise money on match days.Annabel Davis Head of communications & Marketing, Mind
MAKING MENTAL HEALTH FEEL SAFE AND FAMILIAR
All season long, EFL fans support their team through highs and lows. The On Your Side partnership meets them where they are: pitch side. Our strategy positioned Mind not as a corporate mental health charity, but as a friendly coach and extended support team for fans themselves. The Mind supporters’ club – with the tagline, ‘Whoever you support, we support you,’ – has resonated with men.
The identity for what became the On Your Side partnership employs the simple visual of a team scarf.
We anchored all our messaging and activations in one clear, inclusive message: one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. From this we mapped out a year-long activation timetable, identifying key moments in the football calendar and creative way to connect the partnership with fans.
SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE
The Mind tone was shifted to something more edgy and accessible. Keen to find an authentic voice, we organised informal groups with footy fans. The tone we co-developed spoke to men using their own language to create a distinctly male voice that tapped into elements of irreverence and humour while being careful not to undermine the seriousness or the credibility of the message.
A MORE DYNAMIC, PURPOSEFUL AND ENGAGING BRAND WORLD
Our brand world employs football vernacular such as team scarfs and graphic banners, making the brand more active, inspiring, and accessible to a male audience, but still recognisably Mind. A bold colour palette of pitch green and uplifting orange sits alongside the white and blue Mind brand. We also applied a duotone to all imagery with an added gritty ‘grassroots’ texture.
FOOTBALL INSPIRED BRAND ASSETS
We incorporated existing elements of the Mind brand – the distinctive Squiggle and hand drawn font. By reimaging them in the world of football as the pitch line and an expressive football font, we sought to capture the noise and atmosphere of a chant in the stadium.
We also worked with fundraising teams to create activations to encourage fan participation and developed sub-brand identity system. Mind Games were especially fun to work on. We designed the games with footballers and the EFL as pre-match or half time fun to bring fans and families together and supported clubs with toolkits.
We designed activations for big events such as the Caribou Cup to encourage over 90,000 fans to join the Mind supporters’ club. Our stand was designed to make fans feel at home, the club headquarters was a shed and there was backyard barbeque feel to the event.
Our team joined the Mind team to rattle buckets and drive donations. We achieved the virtually impossible – getting the Mind brand into the hands of thousands of fans with our ‘big foam thumbs up’ — a positive symbol of support.
We also saw the opportunity to create an engaging campaign as part of our work to drive participation. Silence is the fundamental issue for men; focusing on that fact invites men to participate and think about their own behaviour.
Our core insight was that helping a mate vs helping yourself was a more accessible entry point for men. Our campaign Have your mate’s back talked about the danger of silence in a fun engaging way, and we encouraged men to turn their shirts back to front to show they had their mate’s back.
It took off. Fans, footballer players, and clubs got involved and it made it onto Sky News.
We are hugely proud to have played a part in the significant increase in fans talking about mental health.
The result was a 36% increase in awareness of the EFL and Mind Partnership amongst men