Performics Mercerbell’s social experiment to identify the signs of someone in difficulty


Performics Mercerbell launched Background blind spot, a digital awareness campaign and website that aims to give Australian businesses the tools to recognize the online signs of mental health issues and promote digital wellness.

In kicking off this World Mental Health Day, the project builds on the fact that during lockdown screen time has skyrocketed for many remote working professionals, including the potential for increased stress and fatigue. video calls. The awareness campaign includes TV spots, influencer marketing, social media and public relations.

In consultation with psychologist and social commentator Sabina Read, Performics Mercerbell conducted a social video call experiment with eight agency staff and one client – to demonstrate how a person’s internal state can manifest in its external environment or appearance.

As part of the experiment, participants intentionally altered their bedroom background for five days, using cues such as scattered laundry, dirty dishes, or a feigned distraction – watching to see if their peers would report or comment on the changes.

Rather than encouraging people to draw conclusions based on the background of their screens, the experiment aims to reinforce the importance of also paying attention to unusual changes in attitude and behavior online over time. time, which could indicate that someone is in trouble.

Performics Mercerbell CEO Jason Tonelli: “Background Blindspot has given us the opportunity as an agency to empower people to notice the signs and start meaningful conversations about mental health. As we face the daily challenges of a pandemic – through this campaign we hope to achieve our goal of improving daily life across Australia. “

The agency has created a website resembling a typical video conferencing window – designed to educate Australian businesses on identifying “digital signs” of distress. Its main objective is to give users the opportunity to reflect on their team, by providing them with the appropriate resources.

With support from Microsoft Advertising, PFXMB has designed a series of bespoke digital backgrounds available for download from the website. These can be uploaded on video calls, to improve visibility around World Mental Health Day.

Renee Stopps, Microsoft Advertising Sales Director and Head of APAC D&I: “As we continue to move towards hybrid work, our goal is to strengthen and support flexibility, while strengthening human bonds and promoting well-being. We are proud to support our Microsoft Advertising Elite partner, Performics Mercerbell, in raising awareness for World Mental Health Day 2021 with the Background Blindspot project. “

The agency got support from the harm prevention organization RU OK? – as well as the Performics Mercerbell Anytime Fitness client.

The Background Blindspot website will be linked to the UK OK? resource “How to start a conversation”; ReachOut Australia’s Surviving Online Learning guide and a link to the Anytime Fitness blog, which discusses the role exercise plays in mental well-being.

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