ITV can today announce the launch of its brand new Head First Award. An advertiser-facing industry initiative, where the ambition is to inspire other brands to join us in shining a spotlight on mental wellbeing and inspiring positive action. 

ITV sits at the heart of popular entertainment, reflecting and connecting with modern Britain. We’re committed to creating a culture where we all do more to look after our mental wellbeing, whether this is through our programmes, workforce or the wider industry. And over the past five years, in partnership with our charities, Britain Get Talking has inspired the nation to have over 100 million conversations to improve their mental wellbeing. The ITV Head First Award will continue to build upon this success, reach and momentum. 

The ITV Head First initiative is a great opportunity to bring the creativity, innovation and impact of the marketing industry to ensure the currency and relevance of mental wellbeing is constantly re-enforced. Sheila Mitchell CBE, Chair of the ITV Head First Award and former Marketing Director for Public Health England

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.

The awards are being judged by some of the biggest experts in the advertising industry, including Chair Sheila Mitchell CBE, former Marketing Director for Public Health England, who was the architect behind key programmes including Every Mind Matters and Change4Life. The other judges include Poppy Jaman OBE, CEO, City Mental Health Alliance; Simon Gunning, CEO, CALM; Lindsey Clay, CEO, Thinkbox; Chris Birch, Executive Creative Director, VCCP; Maisie McCabe, Deputy Editor, Campaign; Kate Waters, Client Strategy & Planning Director, ITV; and Susie Braun, Social Purpose Director, ITV. The campaign was devised by Rachel Compton, Head of Commercial Marketing, ITV. 

Entries open on Tuesday 5th December 2023 and will close on Tuesday 20th February 2024. The five shortlisted entrants will then go through to round two where they will have one month to develop an in person pitch, with a view to the final campaigns being on air in Q4 2024.

To learn more about the award criteria and to submit an entry, visit here.

I’m delighted to see the inaugural ITV Head First Award come to life - championing the importance of mental wellbeing for all is at the core of ITV’s social purpose. It’s fantastic to be able to further cement this by encouraging the advertising industry to put ideas that create a culture of wellbeing and promote long-lasting change at the forefront of their campaigns. Rachel Compton, Head of Commercial Marketing, ITV
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Want to learn more?

Find out more about the process and the key criteria - entries close on 20th February. Good luck!

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