afaqs! news bureau

Future Generali uses a pillow, stress ball and vase to educate people about mental health

The general insurance company's #HealthInsideOut campaign aims to create awareness about active mental health issues that one may be suffering from.

Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) has released a video series on how extreme human emotions on inanimate objects could be the signs of an underlying mental illness. This initiative is the second phase of the general insurance company's #HealthInsideOut campaign.

The videos focus on creating awareness about active mental health issues that one may be suffering from, and not realising their impact. They personify objects and the manhandling they face when the humans using them are going through an emotional turmoil. FGII has designed this digital campaign to encourage everyone to pick on such signs. It urges people to take their mental health seriously.

The multi-video campaign opens with a fed-up pillow, a half-torn stress ball and an almost-broken vase complaining about being at the receiving end of their owner’s wrath. It ends with a message that violent rage, mood swings, fits of anger, stress, anxiety, change in appetite, sadness, insomnia and constant crying are signs of underlying mental illness, and should be taken seriously.

Speaking about the campaign, Ruchika Varma, CMO, FGII, said, “Currently, more than 7.5 per cent of India’s population suffers from some form of mental illness. WHO (World Health Organization) estimates this number to rise by 20 per cent towards the end of the year (2021). In spite of these staggering statistics, mental illness is still a taboo topic in India. Very few people believe that they suffer from it and even fewer seek help.”

“As a brand known for innovation and empathy, we want to propel a movement to get Indians to take their mental health seriously. In the first phase, we gave people a measurement tool, the Total Health Score, to assess their mental health. This campaign builds on the first phase with the aim of creating awareness that one could be suffering from mental health issues without even realising it.”

“During our multiple conversations with mental health experts and the affected parties, we found that the first manifestation of mental health issues is inflicted on inanimate objects. Humanising such objects, our campaign tells a compelling story from their perspective, urging the audience to seek timely help and realise the gravity of these issues,” added Varma.

Amit Akali, co-founder and chief creative officer, Wondrlab, and the man responsible for conceptualisation the campaign, said, “The whole of India lives in denial. We don’t think mental illness exists. That’s why we don’t know what the signs and symptoms are. For us, rage is excused as just having a bad day.”

“So, we needed an idea, which doesn’t just inform people what the signs to look out for are. We needed one that could get inside their head to make them reflect on their everyday behaviour to understand their mental state. That’s how we came up with the idea that the objects around us, which face our issues daily, should tell their tale.”

"E Suresh and his team at Studio Eeksaurus then brought it alive. They actually made a stress ball or a vase speak their heart out, without any special effects or computer graphics, but through painfully executed stop-motion, which took over two months to create - a first of its kind in the world.”