According to W, this campaign, which also scooped the Best Not-for-Profit Award, was partly a success because of its innovative and disruptive use of social media – giving it a direct line to millions.
To mark World Mental Health Day, charity CALM wanted to highlight the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45, and encourage them to share their feelings.
Research found 84 per cent of men in the UK were "bottling up" their emotions. So in a spoof of a typical endorsement, W focused on ‘L’Eau de Chris’: a bottled water infused with a single tear from Love Island star Chris Hughes.
The launch, on 9 October, featured a ‘behind the scenes’ video by Rankin and was backed by Instagram advertising depicting Hughes in boxer shorts, a tear rolling down his cheek. The launch was in association with Topman.
The video was viewed 823,000 times on Instagram and, as hoped, sparked confusion, bemusement and outrage – although media outlets including ShortList, Evening Standard and The Sun were in on the act.
A media briefing the following day revealed the truth – the product wasn’t L’Eau de Chris, but "Lu-di-crous", casting a spotlight on the counterproductive bottling up of emotions.
The campaign generated 120 million social impressions in the first 48 hours. Visits to the CALM website by men aged 18-45 rose 1,800 per cent in 48 hours.
"Audacious, provocative and powerful. Flipping from one side of the emotional register to the other – brilliant plot twist"
When Love Island star Chris Hughes announced via Instagram he was partnering with TOPMAN to launch a bottled water infused with his tears, it provoked a mixture of ridicule, shock and backlash from public and media alike.
At a media launch on World Mental Health Day, and broadcast live on Facebook, the real purpose of was revealed. It was not L'Eau de Chris, but 'ludicrous' that young men continue to bottle about their feelings about anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings. The campaign drove a 1800% increase in visits to the CALM website where young men in crisis can seek help.