Lena Dunham, Tracy Morgan and Other Stars Address Covid-19 and Mental Health for HBO
Lena Dunham, Tracy Morgan, Kendrick Sampson and other WarnerMedia stars offer words of empathy and support in a new PSA from HBO focused on the anxieties caused by Covid-19, and launched at the outset of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The ad dropped today amid the ongoing crisis, as some folks experience anxiety for the first time, or find existing issues spiraling out of control. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports a 40 percent increase in calls to its hotline since the pandemic began.
"It's OK to think you're in a toxic relationship with the world right now," Dunham says to open the 90-second spot, developed by Wieden + Kennedy New York:
After the celebrities encourage viewers to talk about their emotions, the spot closes with the line, "It's OK to not feel OK. It's OK to talk about how Covid-19 is making you feel," along with NAMI's toll-free number and web address.
In a similar vein, last week's extension of the #AloneTogether campaign from the Ad Council, MTV and the ViacomCBS' Entertainment & Youth brands contained content addressing mental health issues in the time of coronavirus.
HBO introduced "It's OK" as its platform for mental health last fall. Efforts at the time included having a real psychologist analyze characters on its shows, including Dunham's Girls.
For the new work, "within a few days of reaching out to talent we started to get bites, not only from HBO but from talent from other parts of the WarnerMedia family, like HBO Max and Turner networks," W+K creatives art director Blair Warren and copywriter Will Binder tell Muse. "We were excited to see that celebrities were invested enough in the idea to virtually invite us into their homes so they could participate. In less than two weeks, all the participants were able to record themselves, upload their files, and we turned an edit around in a matter of days."
Talent in order of appearance: