We were invited to be the lead creative partner on Buckinghamshire County Council’s Prevention Matters campaign. Prevention Matters is a free advice service for adults which provides a link to social activities, volunteers and community services in Buckinghamshire in order to support individuals in regaining confidence and independence.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s goal for the campaign was to encourage initial contact from individuals who need assistance but are unaccustomed to asking for help. It was important for the service offerings to be conveyed in a clear, concise way, giving people the information they need to access assistance easily.

Through the council we discovered a treasure trove of moving stories around individual’s rehabilitation that had been collated over the course of the services’ history. The stories were particularly moving and more importantly relatable. We used these stories as a base to begin initial conceptual ideas for the campaigns look and feel and quotes to tell a narrative. We developed an empathetic language and tone of voice to promote the services provided and encourage initial contact to be made. We chose two individuals stories to illustrate across campaign materials in a hand-drawn style and used a distinctive colour palette to set the emotional scene of the campaign. We developed a palette which was strongly influenced by feelings, mood, weather and change which showed a progression in the emotional state of a mind; the sunshine yellow being representative of positivity and happiness, and dark clouds and moody blues representing a previous place of thought. The illustrated style offered an accessible route to a highly personal story, the result being an empathetic, unpatronising campaign which avoided any clichés around mental health and isolation themes.

The council received an overwhelmingly positive response from the support organisations, community members and the general public. As a result, the uptake in the amount of individuals engaged increased significantly and continues to grow, making it the councils most successful support services campaign in their history.

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