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UK - Business

Positive Provocation

We took a taboo subject in the workplace, such as mental health, and created a campaign that would encourage people to #OpenUp. With a focus on emotion-based brand awareness we were able to effectively engage with our target audience.

Our Approach

Running a Small or Medium sized Business (SME) is relentlessly challenging. A dizzying ride that can be lonely for decision makers who lack the support of a network and feel the pressure to look after their team. Losing one employee to ill health can have disastrous effects, and with employees rating private health insurance as their number one benefit, the time was ripe to talk to SME decision makers.

BUPA have a USP as one of very few insurers to offer coverage for mental health issues in their basic business solution, but their pipeline was suffering after many years of chasing sales. Our task was to re-engage and reassure SMEs that BUPA are the right value partner for their business.


Research from mental health charity MIND showed that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem. Meanwhile recruiters Michael Page had found that 71% of people consider mental health to be a taboo subject in the workplace.

Our own research showed that 60% of SME owners relied on their gut instinct to make purchase decisions.  We needed to engage with them emotionally.

This inspired us to #OpenUp the conversation around mental health at work, shifting BUPAs performance marketing to focus on emotion-based brand awareness. We would use conversational mediums to start the discussion, then support our audience through the process.


Our first wave built the foundations of communication serving targeted ads across display, social media, paid search, landing pages and press content, featuring expert research from BUPA on how to generate open conversations in the workplace

​The second wave launched in line with Mental Health Week to maximise the build-up of conversations – through a dedicated partnership with Global Radio, an LBC interview with Bupa’s clinical expert Pablo Vandenabeele on the importance for businesses to generate discussions around mental health in the workplace. ​Our always on media strategy directed our audience to a host of content; clips from the interview, managers guides and competitions to win a well being tech bundle for their business.

The campaign also coincided with BUPA’s Health Insurance offer to maximise opportunity amidst budget constraints.


Empathising with harassed SME owners by moving to a more emotive strategy persuaded them to reconsider their health insurance options, enabling us to deliver more leads, more effectively than with traditional DR tactics.

Increase in YoY leads delivered
Reduction in average CPL
ROMI delivered

Growth Stories