Using the #ManDictionary to Raise Awareness of Male Mental Health

Using the #ManDictionary to Raise Awareness of Male Mental Health

By myclever™ Agency

In our weekly round up series, we’re taking a look at CALM’s #ManDictionary campaign.



CALM stands for the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity with the mission of reducing suicide in men over 15 by raising awareness. The CALM campaign “offers men help, information and advice via a phone and web service, although anyone, regardless of age, gender or geographic location can call the line.”

Initially a Department of Health pilot in Manchester in 1997, launched as a national charity in 2006 with television spots on MTV and out-of-home advertising across England. provides a digital hub of information, resources and contact points, as well as hosting content that is shared through CALM’s social media channels.

The charity has over 13,000 Twitter followers, 9,700 Facebook likes and 150 YouTube subscribers.


The #ManDictionary is an across-the-line campaign that expands the typical man’s vocabulary by bringing clever and pun-heavy phrases to audiences across print ads, out-of-home, display and social ads.

The subversion of overt masculine language is bringing attention to the shocking statistics that men are three times likelier than women to commit suicide and that it is the leading cause of death in men under 50.

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With the hashtag #ManDictionary, the campaign provides a centre of gravity where conversations about mental health and awareness can come together.

CALM is hoping to overcome the stigma attached to men seeking help and talking about their issues.

Theobold Fox, the full service agency behind the campaign, even used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to allow “budding lexicographers to make an entry worthy of becoming an ad or being part of the #MANDICTIONARY itself.”

The campaign first launched in July 2014


Despite not running a CALM Instagram account, the out-of-home ads are creating buzz on the image sharing app. 115 images have been tagged with the official hashtag #ManDictionary.

Instagram #ManDictionary

On the wider web, the campaign has accrued over 15,000 mentions since April 1st:

Volume of mentions by site

These mentions have experienced significant peaks in late May/June:

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As a campaign with an altruistic aim, CALM’s #ManDictionary is succeeding in creating conversations surounding its core issue – men’s mental health.

Sometimes half the battle is starting these conversations.

By humourously parodying the needlessly manly nature of men’s vocabulary, CALM are bringing a serious issue to light and getting their message into the minds of their target audience….

…with some unexpectedly positive results.

Over To You

What do you think? Have you spotted a clever campaign?

This post was written by myclever™ Agency

Exceptional marketing is driven by human insight. myclever™ Agency craft beautiful, useful and engaging experiences with social media at the heart.