This Relatable PSA, Set to Radiohead, Tells Kids It’s OK Not to Feel ‘Normal’

Childline celebrates individuality amid the pressures to fit in

Spot for British non-profit Childline tells kids: it's OK to not be 'normal' Childline / The Gate

LONDON—Many children, often secretly, feel as though they don’t fit in among their peers, and these feelings of inadequacy have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to nonprofit Childline.

The organization has launched a new stop-motion animation by agency The Gate, set to Radiohead’s Creep, to help children navigate these feelings.

The spot, titled “Nobody Is Normal,” is designed to let young people know that no matter how they feel inside, they are not alone. It follows the story of a wooly creature that disguises itself as a human teenager in order to fit in at school.

But as the creature struggles to contain what’s inside, he soon realizes everybody around him has something to hide too.

“At Childline, we often hear from young people who feel like they are different. This can be for a number of reasons—including bullying, abuse and mental health issues—but sometimes, young people just don’t feel comfortable in their own skin,” said Grania Hyde-Smith, Childline’s marketing lead. “The Gate have done a brilliant job of bringing this story to life in a captivating animation, which shows young people that we’re all different and there’s no such thing as ‘being normal.'”

Lucas Peon, chief creative officer at The Gate, said the work aims to speak to children “in a way that is natural to them.”

“We needed an emotional story that intrigued people enough to pay attention and moved them enough to make them reflect and change their perspective,” he said.

Brand: Childline
Client: Grania Hyde-Smith (Marketing Lead), Rachel Day (Communications Officer), Courtney Zitola (Senior Digital Marketing Manager), Ellana Salt (Social Media Coordinator)
Creative Agency: The Gate
Chief Creative Officer: Lucas Peon
Creatives: John Osborne, Rickie Marsden, Sam Whatley
Agency Producer: Susie Innes
Account Director: Sam Dempsey
Strategy Lead: Kit Altin
Media Agency: OMD
Director: Catherine Prowse
Producer: Daisy Garside
Production Company: Blink & Rowdy
Director of Photography and Color Grader: George Warren
Animators: Tim Allen and Tobias Fouracre
Puppet Builder: Adeena Grubb
2D Animator and Compositor: Tom Fisher
Rig Removal: Ieuan Lewis
BTS: Joe Eckworth
Art Department Runners: Feiyang Yin and Stella Chapman
Shot At: Clapham Road Studios
Blink Producer: Josef Byrne
Major Tom: Jake Wheeler
Grand Central: Gary Turnbull & Molly Butcher
Music companies: Beggars, Warner Chappell, Concord
Soundtrack: Radiohead
Illustrator: Biff
Project Manager: Ross Frame, Jelly

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.