Entries for this year's Head First Award are now closed. Best of luck to everyone who has entered. 

At ITV, we’re proud to sit at the heart of mainstream Britain as this gives us a unique ability to connect with the nation and shape and reflect culture

Over the past 5 years, our social purpose initiative, “Britain Get Talking”, has inspired the nation to have over 100 million conversations to improve their mental wellbeing. We want to build on this brilliant foundation and broaden the reach and impact of this campaign by launching a brand new competition for our advertising community, ITV Head First Award.

We're looking for brands that best respond to the creative brief - to champion and communicate to the nation the importance of taking steps towards better mental health and wellbeing, through the creation of an on-air spot.

The total prize fund is £2 million of airtime - with the winner being awarded £1 million and ITV offering to match-fund the other four shortlisted entries up to £250k each, in order to get as many representative campaigns on air as possible.

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video time: video title: Carolyn McCall | Head First

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The competition process in more detail

Stage One

  • Please submit a 2-page PDF*, max 800 words, which must include all the of the following elements:

    • Your TV script

    • Your insight and campaign idea

    • Your target audience and why you believe your brand can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing

    • The results you believe your campaign will have

*The entry can be submitted by either a brand, media agency or creative agency. 

Following the closing date, the shortlisting panel will judge the entries against the published criteria to establish a shortlist of up to 5 campaigns who will then progress to the second stage of the award competition.

Stage Two 

The 5 shortlisted brands will be given one month to develop a pitch that will take place in person on 26th April 2024. 

Each brand will have a maximum of 20 minutes to pitch, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the judges. The pitches will be held in London, in front of the full judging panel. 

The judging panel will be encouraged to discuss each pitch and consider all the criteria before making their decision on who to award the prize to via a sealed entry form. 

The winner will be announced on Monday 13th May 2024 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week and the winning campaign will be on air during Q4 2024. 

You can read full terms & conditions for this competition here

You can read FAQs here

What are the judges looking for?

1)  Ideas that create a culture of wellbeing and promote long-lasting change

The idea should help to create a culture where we all do more to look after our mental wellbeing. The outcome of the advert should be to seek real behavioural change toward improved mental wellbeing that is underpinned by a strong evidence base. The degree to which mental wellbeing is brought to the forefront of the campaign will be a key criterion.

2) A compelling and memorable idea

The idea for the campaign should be clear, compelling and memorable and build a clear picture of what the TV advert will look like and the message it will land. 

3) Creative strategy and campaign development

The judges would like to understand what insight led to the idea and how you developed the creative concept. Please detail any research that informed your idea, including your rationale and evidence for your approach. 

4) Campaign performance

You must include the campaign KPIs and how you believe this campaign will deliver the change in behaviour that you are aiming for. Outline the scale of the problem your campaign plans to tackle. Outline the impact you believe your campaign will have on the nation and how you will measure success.

5) Production feasibility 

The judges will need to understand whether the concept is feasible to produce, and whether it is likely to pass all the usual legal and compliance requirements for on-air broadcast. The cost to produce the TV advert is to be covered by the business entering the competition.

6) Advertisement and amplification

The pitch creative should be for an on-air spot that will launch exclusively on ITV. We are interested in how your campaign will live outside of TV. 

Digest our Wellbeing Matters Research

To support advertisers with their submissions, ITV has launched new research into the wellbeing space so that ideas for entries are grounded in fresh and relevant insights.

As part of our research, we found that a whopping 89% of Brits believe it’s important to talk about our mental health, but only 58% feel the stigma is decreasing -  this is where we believe brands can help.

The full research can be accessed here.

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