Voice recognition and out-of-home combo aims to support mental health

Latest campaign from R U OK? and JCDecaux employs voice-based technology in out-of-home

Voice recognition technology is being tapped by R U OK? and JCDecaux  in their latest collaboration aimed at supporting Australians feeling the mental health strain during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The out-of-home campaign, which debuts to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday 10 September, will include an interactive JCDecaux panel with voice-activated technology to trigger on-screen and verbal responses to the question: R U Ok? The responses centre around information on what to say and do if the consumer suspects a friend, family member, colleague or peer isn’t ok.

The interactive panel is live on Sydney’s George Street in the CBD, and is part of a national OOH effort. Consumers are prompted via a floor decal placed in front of the panel as well as an on-screen call to action.

The suicide prevention charity said recent research insights showed that while people aware of R U Ok felt comfortable having a conversation with someone who might be struggling, but 31 per cent lacked confidence or were unsure about exactly how to have such a conversation with someone who is not UK.

The OOH effort is an extension of the charity’s 2020 theme and call to action, which is ‘There’s more to say after R U OK?’.

“It’s important that Australians feel they have the skills to navigate a meaningful conversation, especially if someone says they’re not ok,” R U OK? campaign director, Gennie Sheer said. “The JCDecaux interactive activity complements our broader campaign to educate and empower people with the knowledge and confidence to start a conversation that could change a life.”

JCDecaux head of creative solutions, Ashley Taylor, said the industry-first campaign was about providing the space to model a really important conversation.

“Understanding audiences are conscious about things that they touch as a result of COVID-19, the voice recognition functionality provides a safe way to continue to deliver meaningful messages, hands free,” he said.

 

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