Southern Cross partners with Havas to drive awareness of mind health for Kiwi kids

Monday , 12 October 2020 by Alaina McGregor

Southern Cross has launched an integrated creative campaign to drive awareness of its flagship social responsibility initiative, Pause Breathe Smile with Southern Cross.

Pause Breathe Smile is a mind health programme that equips school children aged five to 12 with the tools to navigate life’s ups and downs.

The campaign has launched with a series of creative executions that show different ways in which children perceive the world and manage their emotions, as told in their own words.

PBS post 200x300The work was created by Havas NZ after the agency won a competitive pitch earlier this year.

Havas’ Chief Creative Officer Ben Handy said it has been fantastic to work on a programme that makes such a positive difference to kids’ lives.

“Children have such busy minds and we can’t underestimate the worries and stresses they carry with them. Tapping into the way children express something like their anxieties and fears – something even adults find difficult – was a challenging task, but one that ultimately became the most rewarding.

“Exploring the children’s stories was a poignant way to communicate to parents nationwide, whose children may be suffering these same sorts of unavoidable anxieties, that there is help for them – thanks to this incredible and essential ‘mind health’ programme,” said Handy.

Southern Cross joined forces with the Pause Breathe Smile charitable trust and the Mental Health Foundation to deliver the programme nationwide. Research has proven the initiative increases wellbeing, reduces stress, boosts conflict resolution skills and enhances self-awareness.

Southern Cross group Chief Communications & Brand Officer Joanne Mahon said Havas landed on a creative strategy that really got to the heart of what the Pause Breathe Smile programme is seeking to achieve.

“The agency showed a nuanced and perceptive understanding of the world from a child’s perspective and how a programme like Pause Breathe Smile can make a tangible difference to New Zealand children. We’ve been very excited to see this translate into the final creative and we believe it will resonate with New Zealanders of all ages.

“We hope this campaign will help to drive awareness that Pause Breathe Smile is available at no cost to any primary and intermediate school around the country and ultimately help to equip every child in New Zealand with the tools to achieve positive mind health,” said Mahon.

The campaign will run across TV, radio, social and digital.


Agency: Havas NZ
Creative: Ben Handy, John O’Leary, Matt May
Producer: Lisa Nolan
Film Production: Havas NZ
Director: Ben Handy
Sound: FR
Post-Production: Chris Williamson
Motion Designer: Chris Williamson