If you spent any time online on Saturday 10th October, you will no doubt have seen the hashtag #worldmentalhealthday2020 trending. This hashtag was used to spread awareness of the holiday that marks World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health was ‘mental health for all’.
It’s a day that should be recognised by everyone, from individuals to major brands. We have all witnessed how some of our favourite brands take to social media to celebrate holidays such as: the 4th of July, but they’re not American. They celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but they’re not Irish. Why should they celebrate mental health day? Becasuse we are all PEOPLE!
At the core of ever company is people, real people who have likely struggled at some point in their life with poor mental health. I was surprised when I was scrolling through my social media on Saturday of the lack of #worldmentalhealthday posts from my favouirte brands. This doesn’t apply to all: some did it justice, some did it half-heartedly and some didn’t acknowledge the day at all. Here is an example of a brand who mentioned it for the sake of not feeling left out and a brand that celebrated the day brilliantly (in my opinion of course).
Pretty Little Think
PLT (Pretty Little Thing) is a brand that us ladies will most likely have heard off. It has become a major fast-fashion empire and with 12.6 million followers on Instagram it has a huge platform to inspire young women from all over the world. On Saturday 10th October PLT posted a quote on its page in celebration of #worldmentalhealthday2020 with the caption ‘Sometimes we just need to slow it down. Take a moment to focus on you’.
A great message I will admit. BUT was it enough or were they just jumping on the bandwagon? From the brand’s Instagram feed to its Instagram stories the message was very inconsistent. It decided to make a bigger deal out of the fact that it was also National Handbag Day and Bella Hadid’s birthday. All that was expected of this brand was one day to focus on the wellbeing of its 12.6M followers. One day to concentrate on the people that keep its company a float. One day to inspire. One day not one half-hearted post.
As a lot of people know the face of the PLT empire is Molly Mae Hauge. I am personally a major fan of the former love island star and often pity the abuse that the celebrity faces online. She is always so open about her online trolling and the effect that it has on her mental health. This would have been the perfect opportunity for PLT to use its brand ambassador to educate people on how to behave online and the consequences that online abuse has on mental health. It would have been a very beneficial marketing strategy that would have received a lot of positive media coverage, which I’m assuming Pretty Little Thing could benefit from after being accused of ‘slave labour’ back in July this year. The marketing team at PLT made it very clear that people is not at the core of this organisation and its new moto is: handbags over people (eyes rolling- if you can’t tell).
Now, here is a brand that done World Mental Health Day justice and no surprise giving that it’s an Irish brand (of course). The BPerfect team launched a brilliant campaign called #BPerfectAsYouAre, challenging its Instagram users and social influencers to post a no-makeup selfie and make a donation to its chosen charities. Yes, you heard right a makeup brand telling you to wear no makeup (unlike Pretty Little Thing telling us to forget about mental health, it’s national handbag day and we sell handbags). Bperfect claimed that it wanted to use its platform on World Mental Health Day to ‘raise awareness on the importance of looking after your mental health’ and ‘to show the importance of loving your beautiful, natural self’. Very quickly the #BperfectAsYouAre was embraced by lots of our favourite Irish influencers and MUAs including LMD and Rachel Nugent. The best part was that if you took part you were entered into a draw to win 1 of 50 self care packages!
Everything about the BPerfect campiagn from the message, the hashtag, its chosen mental health charities and the self care packages was pure brilliance and sent a great message to young girls who look up to these influencers and compare themselves to others online on a daily basis.
My question is… Has this campaign been in the planning for months or was it a genius PR stunt to take away from the huge amount of negative publicity the brand received last week when it launched its Belfast store breaking every COVID-19 guideline out there? I’ll leave that for you to decide!