Comedy Central’s audience loves comedy, but they don’t necessarily turn to us for mental health messages. That being said, we know that comedy is a force for social good, and many comedians talk openly about their struggles with mental health. We also know that in light of the pandemic, a lot of people are struggling. We set out to create content that could still appeal to our audience with a comedic angle, while opening the door to discussing important issues.
We are committed to supporting our audience’s mental health by normalizing conversations and providing tools and resources. In particular, we wanted to take the traditional concept of a public service announcement and turn it on its head to draw in our audience and lead to more earnest conversation about mental health.
For this year’s Mental Health Action Day, we created a digital-first video PSA - “Why Not Both?” - that plays on the meme “Men would rather ____ than go to therapy.” We turned the concept on its head, showing that fans can do both actions, with the hope of using laughter to destigmatize caring for one’s mental health. The video unfolds into a more earnest conversation with popular comedians Roy Wood Jr, Maria Bamforrd, and Aparna Nancherla who talk about their own mental health struggles and actions that they take to care for themselves. Our goal was to encourage our fans to take just one step, which could include visiting our website, calling a friend, or even relaxing to music or a TV show. Ultimately our goal was to show that there are many ways to care for one’s mental health, and taking a first step is an important start.
The video garnered 1.2M views and 7.7K engagements across Comedy Central’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Most importantly, comments included thoughtful conversations about mental health amongst our fans.
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