Walkers crisps and Comic Relief Christmas advert 2022 wants UK to open up about mental health struggles

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 Walkers and Comic Relief don’t just want you to open up a bag of crisps this Christmas, but they want you to open up about the struggles you may be too proud to admit you’re going through.

Christmas can be a hard time for many people, be it the annual stress of completing everything by the end of the year or for some a lonely time without anyone to talk to - even if you have everyone to talk to. Walkers has recognised the importance of opening up about mental wellbeing as they team up with Roman Kemp and Comic Relief for its 2022 Christmas advert - with Kemp’s narration updating the piece after a 2021 trial run.

The advert, which has already been screened on digital channels from November 25 but set to air on terrestrial television from December 1, features main character Larry at a festive family party. Larry is accompanied by an emoji, subconsciously displaying what he’s really feeling while Larry wears a brave face across different classic Christmas scenarios with family and friends.

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During the final scene of the ad, Larry finds himself in the kitchen with his friend who asks him “how are you?”, to which Larry replies with “I’m fine”. His friend goes on to curiously ask “how are you really?”, to which Larry opens up and the two friends share a laugh with each other over Larry’s Christmas jumper. The scene is designed to highlight the  importance of talking and for others not to take terms like “I’m fine” at face value.

Walkers were prompted to create the advert after researching that nearly every other time (38%) a person in Britain says that they’re ‘fine’, they’re not being honest. This is even more prevalent at Christmas, with more than half (52%) of UK adults admitting they feel additional pressure to be happy during the festive season and pretend everything is okay.

Having provided the narration for the advert for 2022, Capital FM breakfast host Roman Kemp spoke about the importance of the advert at this time of year: “As someone who has been open about their own battle with mental health and seen first-hand the devastating consequences of people bottling up their feelings, this is a campaign very close to my heart.

“Let’s stop saying we’re fine because we think it’s polite, or because we think it’s what the other person wants to hear. Most of the time, if a friend or family member is asking you how you are, they do genuinely want to know because they care.”

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Alongside raising awareness for mental wellbeing over Christmas, the advert also highlights the continued efforts between Walkers and Comic Relief, with £2m over the last two years donated from the crisp manufacturer to Comic Relief to support mental wellbeing programmes.

“We know that Christmas can be a challenging time for many, and the pressure to appear positive and pretend everything is ‘fine’, even if it’s not, is particularly strong at this time of year,” Walkers spokesperson Philippa Pennington said. “The message of our Christmas campaign – that it can help to open up and talk about your feelings - is so important and we hope to be able to encourage people to talk a little more this festive season.”

“We are proud to see the benefits of our £2m donation to Comic Relief and mental wellbeing projects and hope we can continue to raise smiles and get the nation talking this Christmas.”

If you are struggling with mental health, remember you are not alone and it’s ok not to be ok. For help or to talk to someone, Samaritans are available by calling 116 123 or texting SHOUT to 85258 24 hours a day. For those who are unable to text or call, email [email protected] and a member of the team will be back with you within 24 hours.

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