Megan Thee Stallion takes a more subdued and serious tone than her stage persona in the latest public service announcement for the ongoing “Seize the Awkward” campaign.
In a personal message, titled “Check in on Your Friends,” the Grammy winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist is seen sitting in an empty space against a cracking wall. She states how she feels the need to showcase a tough exterior, but all people have bad days and true strength comes from talking with others about problems. The short film encourages viewers to find strength in vulnerability and open up that conversation with friends.
Seize the Awkward is a national campaign that inspires and prepares teens and young adults to talk about mental health with their friends. The campaign from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Jed Foundation and the Ad Council reminds people that “It’s OK not to be OK.”
“I’m proud to team up with Seize the Awkward and use my platform to help normalize conversations around mental health,” Megan Thee Stallion said in a statement. “It’s important that we regularly check in on our friends and family and make sure to show empathy, encouragement, and love when they’re struggling. A strong support system can make a powerful difference in someone’s life.”
The goal of the campaign is to equip young adults, especially Black and Hispanic youth, with accessible and useful resources for starting conversations around mental health with friends and spotting the signs that a peer may be struggling. In addition to promoting SeizeTheAwkward.org, the PSA also highlights BadBitchesHaveBadDaysToo.com, Megan’s website that offers a wide array of mental health resources.
“Check in on Your Friends” was developed pro bono by award-winning creative agency Droga5, part of Accenture Song, and directed by Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah with Greenpoint Pictures.
In addition to the main video, a #SeizeTheAwkward influencer activation in partnership with Black-owned influencer agency Kensington Grey will feature Ava Teteh-Ocloo, Charisma Stevens, Whitney Madueke, Taty Cokley and more. Shareable gifs will also be available on Giphy.
“As women of color, we are too often perceived as ‘strong,’ so it was imperative to prove that all friends should be checked on—no matter who they are or how they may appear to be,” said Courtney Richardson, creative director at Droga5 in a statement. “Our campaign is a visual representation of when we are given a chance to be vulnerable, allowed to unapologetically open up and have hard conversations, that’s when our real emotions can crack the surface and we can start to become whole.”