Looking for a digital agency?


AdSpark Inc.
  • Score Awaiting client review
  • Date Published
  • Reading Time 11-Minute Read

Generated awareness about a helpline that offers crisis intervention and support for those living with depression and other mental health issues.

Challenge, Objectives, Strategy

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 4.5 million Filipinos are affected by depression, with suicide as a possible outcome; it is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.

True to its commitment to creating a GLOBE OF GOOD, Globe, the number one telco company in the Philippines, partnered with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation to provide accessible counseling to Filipinos and promote mental health awareness through HOPELINE 2919 – a 24/7 hotline for emotional crisis intervention and suicide prevention dedicated to giving support and saving lives during times of crisis.

The partnership was borne out of the mutual social responsibility to arrest the growing threat of depression and suicide, which is becoming more and more prevalent among the youth. A big portion of Globe’s customer base are the millennials and the Gen Z — generations known to be vocal about their own advocacies (Pew Research Center, 2018), but also highly exposed to risky interactions online (Beauchere, 2018).

There were three (3) main objectives for the campaign: (1) To create awareness on the hotline, HOPELINE 2919 with estimated 7.3 Million impressions (2) To prompt those suffering from depressive or suicidal episodes to call Hopeline whenever they are at their most vulnerable (3) To urge family and friends to encourage their loved ones to call Hopeline for professional support ;with a projected 7,200 accumulated calls for 2018.

To drive campaign objectives, Globe produced video materials, entitled ‘Yoya’ and ‘Training Day’, and commissioned the services of AdSpark, Inc. to devise a strategy for the media roll-out of both videos, and ensure proper execution in delivering its message to a targeted audience. In order to do so, Globe needed to gain insight on audience sentiment and consumption behavior.

The proprietary AdSpark Intelligence (AI) was the answer to #SeeYouTomorrow campaign’s need for agility on insighting, ideation, and implementation. The AI paints a clear picture of the viewer to ensure an audience-first strategy founded on an in-depth understanding of Filipino consumers through their daily digital behavior.

Using AI’s real-time content consumption data and sentiment analysis (powered by Amobee), it was learned that consumers are heavily consuming suicide-related content associated with negative keywords like “Self Blame.” In spite of this, there are comparatively fewer conversations on the topic of depression and suicide, creating a huge discrepancy between consumption and conversation data — the silent majority.

From there, strategically selected social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube became the key venue for material distribution, to communicate with the audience on channels where conversations are more effectively fostered.

In doing so, the silent majority are given the encouragement to voice out and engage with the video material, effectively extending its reach. Thus, on a bigger scale, the Campaign hoped to shift the conversation to a positive perspective, and create an organic ripple effect for awareness with the end goal to save lives through increased calls in Hopeline.

Creative, Media Ideas & Executions

Reaching the right audience, efficiently and effectively.

Given the sensitivity of the topic at hand, there are many barriers to discussing suicide. First, the negative stigma associated with suicide and other mental illnesses discourages Filipinos from expressing themselves or seeking help. Second, the lack of mental health education and resources prevent many from forming educated decisions and informed attitudes about those suffering from mental illnesses.

The video material that Globe had created for this campaign sought to change that.

‘Yoya’ highlighted the support of family and friends as important lifelines to those struggling with depression. This messaging was important as understanding and empathy from family members such as parents has been shown to be an effective buffer against suicidality (Bantigue, et al, 2015).

‘Training Day,’ humanized the statistic that while females are more than twice as likely as males to have had suicidal thoughts, males are more likely to carry out a suicidal act due to the societal pressures of machismo (Bhalla, 2014). ‘Training Day’ questioned the standards of toxic masculinity that urged men to “man up” and discouraged them from showing emotion (Montero, 2018).

It was a timely and socially relevant topic, one that Globe and AdSpark wanted to promote through an informative yet uplifting message. AdSpark sought to open up the conversation around it and channeled this where the discussion happens – social media platforms that allowed for wider reach and greater impact. This included Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where 97%, 54%, and 96% of the online Filipino population can be found, respectively (Hootsuite & We Are Social, 2019).

These were leveraged to gain ideal maximum awareness and with the right targeting. The agency was able to reach people who needed it the most: on Facebook and Twitter where users are naturally more inclined to respond to pressing social issues (Rehr, 2017), and on YouTube where more than 25,000 content creators, and counting, have shared their personal journeys (Think with Google, 2018).

AdSpark took a step further to reach out to the silent majority, being the more critical audience. There are half-a-billion people on the internet just lurking and viewing, showing engagement with mental health and well-being related posts.

To reach this audience, AdSpark executed interest-based targeting that tapped on interest pages on Facebook with a large pool of followers (Berlin Artparasites, Rombutan, Estudyante Problems, Poetry and Story, Esquire, FHM), and that are frequented by those living with mental illnesses, or produced content relating to mental health (Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines, Depression PH, Natasha Goulborn, Thought Catalog, Headspace, Suicide Prevention Awareness).

Those consumers who have expressed interest by liking on these particular pages will get served the ads. Not only does this method grant a cost-efficient approach and accurate reach, but ultimately attain better performance for the campaign.

Presence of Values

To those living with depression, the simple act of seeking help can have the greatest impact. But the negative stigma against mental illnesses persists, which often leads to people suffering depression in silence, exacerbating their issues with feelings of shame. When depression goes unnoticed, it goes untreated.

Through the campaign, Globe and AdSpark fostered a safe space where people experiencing suicidal episodes can find catharsis, and neurotypical individuals can better understand their depressive friends and family and provide the appropriate support.

Today’s acceleration in digital democratizes education and getting information which further provides an opportunity to address mental health treatment gap, particularly through promoting Hopeline 2919.

AdSpark has banked on the benefits of utilizing social media as a pathway for suicide prevention. Due to consensus among affected interviewees, suicidality is brought about by lack of awareness of mental health, and therefore consumers are left unaware of their conditions and are in any way not alarmed to get proper treatment.

The instantaneous reach of these platforms directly correlates to how Filipinos talk about depression and mental health issues at scale. Through the various channels available across the internet, it has been made easier for those struggling to access help and keep in touch with their main support system. The social network has also proved to add to the ways by which users are getting information through news sources and new discovery methods. Twitter users for that matter follow topics on social issues with 56%, non-Twitter users 32%, and all social media users with 36% (Pew Research Center, 2018).

The essence of creating awareness and promoting Hopeline 2919 meant going beyond sharing, using hashtags, and retweeting. Thoughts and prayers are much appreciated but are not nearly enough help to those who wrestle with thoughts and feelings of suicide. Urgent attention and immediate action must be taken for individuals showing symptoms of mental illness to be able to receive the care they need which Hopeline 2919 carries.

Growing awareness towards the suicide prevention hotline leads to Hopeline’s utmost potential to be useful in meeting the mental health treatment needs of large numbers of people coming from different social classes. In 2018, there are 71% internet users in the Philippines with 88% of Filipinos who have used the internet are from the working class (WeAreSocial, 2018). Distributing the two video materials in the mentioned social media platforms made it even more so accessible to the low and middle-income class who have limited resources in researching alternative treatments for depression.

By targeting interest pages, it helped quickly identify and reach the who are suffering but are ashamed to step forward and get diagnosed with mental illness. Getting the ads to the right audience through pages with high affinity on mental health makes communication direct and relevant to those who are suffering silently, as well as to those audiences who bear the symptoms not knowing there is something wrong.

Business Results

This collaboration between Globe and AdSpark was able to fulfill their main objective of raising awareness of the Hopeline amongst Filipinos who are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts as primary means to help them get professional support from qualified counsellors; to ultimately lessen suicide cases in the country through increased calls to Hopeline 2919.

The Marketing objective to create awareness on the hotline through the 2 video materials went beyond forecasted Impressions. For ‘Yoya’ actual results exceeded by 5.9% landing with 3 Million impressions versus the 2.9 Million estimated impressions; Whereas ‘Training Day’ significantly went over by 99.7% garnering 8.7 Million impressions versus the 4.3 Million planned impressions.

Due to effective targeting, all video placements impressively went over their benchmarks with the following performance summaries: ‘Yoya’ garnered 20.95% for the YouTube Pre-roll versus its 15% benchmark, Facebook Boosted Video with 16.93% versus its 10% VTR benchmark and the Twitter promoted video that went quite a sum over its 2.5% VTR benchmark with 28.33%.

Placements launched for ‘Training Day’ proved that niche targeting worked well combined with broad mental-health-related interests. Video placements for this material also hit and exceeded the industry benchmarks displaying outstanding result summary: Facebook went beyond the 10% industry benchmark with 17.94%, Twitter with a whopping 68.05% versus the 15% industry benchmark, and Youtube bumper ads were viewed 135K, and garnered 408K impressions for 2 weeks, regardless of minimum inventories available for Bumper ads. Needless to say, all performed higher than industry benchmark meant successfully reaching the right audience.

With a market that negatively consumes topics surrounding depression and suicide made it a challenge to start a conversation around these subjects.

The action-based business objective is to prompt those who struggle with depression to call the hotline, manifested through increased calls to Hopeline 2919. Data results presented here on after further discusses the successful outcome of the #SeeYouTomorrow campaign.


1. During the campaign period, there was a 41% increase in calls

2. Campaign audience profiling high accuracy based on targets

3. AdSpark’s strategic media roll-out also accelerated consumer discussion about Hopeline and the issues on mental health. Through social listening scan, results drew a shift in keyword association visible during different phases of the campaign. Upon launching the first video material “Yoya”, audiences were now more than ever open to the discussion surrounding this topic.

4. The brand became the focal point and ushered the impact of mental health issues at the forefront.

After a year of running the campaign, Hopeline is now organically included in news articles ( Inquirer.net, ABS-CBN News, Rappler), and posts by influencers and key opinion leaders, and even the general public, during high-profile suicide cases, Kate Spade (June 6) and Anthony Bourdain’s (June 8).

With regards to the accumulated number of calls to Hopeline 2919, the campaign achieved 1.6 times the projected number of calls for 2018 — increasing the total number of potential lives saved every day.

There is no cure for depression, but together, Globe and AdSpark aimed to better the quality of life for those living with depression and other mental illnesses, by generating awareness about a helpline that can offer crisis intervention, supportive and non-judgmental active listening with qualified responders, and hopefully fostering an environment that is more open to discussions about mental health.