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PSA for Man Therapy
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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In our society, addressing men's health has always been challenging. It is commonly accepted that men hate going to the doctor, and in our perverse definition of masculinity, it seems unmanly to be aware of and fix emotional and physical ailments.

AdLand is trying to influence the conversation.

Cactus, an agency in Denver, along with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention and the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, are tackling the issue of suicide amongst men. According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Colorado is home to the sixth-highest suicide rate in the country. Although women do attempt suicide in higher numbers than men, the attempts that result in fatality are much higher in men than women, a whooping 79 percent compared to 21 percent in women. Even the government sees the issue. In response to the suicide numbers among active duty male soldiers — a number that surpassed troops killed in Afghanistan this year — the armed forces set up an organization whose goal is to help those soldiers who need it most.

Yikes.

AdLand's first statewide crack at this is ManTherapy.org. Man Therapy is a virtual office with a number of videos and an online questionnaire and is home to Dr. Richard Mahogany. The campaign will also have offline spots such as billboards, restroom posters, and drink coasters.

The campaign definitely has a humorous side to it, as the article relates the Dr. Mahogany character to a cross between Dr. Phil and Anchorman's Ron Burgundy. Its goal is to reach men between the ages of 25 and 64 and to show men there is a way to address their depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts.

Humor seems to be the way to go when talking about serious issues that affect the male population. But this is a serious issue too, so Cactus and the crew will have to tread the line lightly.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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