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Breaking Depression – A Story of 40 Million Broken Pieces

by Publicis Health for Janssen EMEA

Summary of work

Breaking Depressionis a European awareness campaign created by Janssen EMEA and Publicis Health to enable the public, with support from HCPs, to better understand and help those with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

With no innovation in 30 years, MDD is poorly recognised and understood. Though most people want to help, few feel comfortable broaching the subject due to the associated stigma. By encouraging more conversations, could we help more people speak up?

To succeed, we needed a novel metaphor that was analogous to MDD. Feeling ‘broken’ is symbolic of MDD and the insight behind the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi was leveraged to create Breaking Depression. Translating as ‘golden joinery’, kintsugi involves repairing broken objects with gold lacquer, treating breakage and repair as part of an object’s history, not something to be concealed.

We created a campaign across digital, face-to-face and out-of-home channels, partnering with HCPs, PAGs and artists to help raise awareness. Social media was core to our strategy, from seeding it with HCPs, to launch activity on World Mental Health Day, to encouraging people to pledge their support to the campaign.

In three months, it reached 28 million people and 32,000 pledged their support to Breaking Depression.

Judges' comments

Breaking Depression was a very creative entry that delivered clear results. There was a rare use of monitoring to refine the approach during the campaign. We particularly liked the metaphor.


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Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

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