We Are Social and Wayside Chapel tackle loneliness epidemic with Social60 campaign

We Are Social and Wayside Chapel

The campaign kicked off with a hero film featuring TikTok creators and everyday Australians examining the impact of loneliness in their lives.

We Are Social has teamed up with Wayside Chapel to launch a behaviour change campaign, Social60.

The pro-bono initiative aims to combat loneliness by establishing a first-of-its-kind benchmark for social connection: 60 minutes of in-person social interaction each day.

This is in response to the State of the Nation report on social connection in Australia by Ending Loneliness Together, which found that 1 in 3 Australians experience loneliness. The research conducted by Australia’s leading psychologists and neuroscientists showed the 60-minute benchmark offers a tangible and memorable goal for people to enhance their daily social interactions.

Hugh Clifford Mackay AO, a psychologist and social researcher who consulted on the campaign, said that while human connection is essential for our well-being, it is Australia’s leading public health issue.

Wayside Chapel has set itself a mission to combat loneliness. Jon Owen, CEO and pastor of Wayside Chapel, said the organisation has long campaigned for a life without loneliness since opening its doors in 1994.

“Our unique, non-judgemental approach rooted in love, care, and connection drives everything we do. Together, we can challenge the loneliness epidemic and foster a society where every individual feels valued and connected.”

Research by Wayside Chapel that found nearly 70% of Australians experience less than an hour of in-person contact each day.

The campaign, which launched on the UN’s International Day of Happiness, kicked off with a hero film featuring TikTok creators and everyday Australians examining the impact of loneliness in their lives.

We Are Social partnered with creator and media personality, Tully Smyth, to subvert TikTok’s popular, day-in-the-life trend. Instead, she revealed in a subsequent post a poignant reality – that she spends the entire day without engaging in any physical interaction with another person.

Social60 also posted a creator-led TikTok video with practical tips and tools to enhance their daily social interactions, which was saved by 1,200 people in four days.

Ben Clare, executive creative director of We Are Social, added that connecting with others in real life has never been harder in a world dominated by virtual communication, remote working, and modern conveniences like online shopping and self-checkouts.

“We really hope Social60 builds a movement towards long-term change. Partnering with influencers and creators on the project helped bring authenticity and authority to the issue, allowing us to use culture to fight our culture of loneliness.”

We Are Social and Wayside Chapel

The campaign is endorsed by Dr Fiona Kerr, founder and CEO of The NeuroTech Institute, who emphasised the importance of face-to-face connection over digital interactions. She said that a conversation in a coffee line already provides an electrochemical infusion that lowers feelings of both emotional and social loneliness.

“We are built to connect in shared space. Engaging with others positively impacts our brains and bodies in ways digital contact does not, altering our neurophysiology and changing how we see ourselves and each other. It gives us a sense of belonging and acceptance – a wonderful, powerful gift we can give to each other with so little effort.”


Wayside Chapel
CEO: Jon Owen

We Are Social Australia
Executive Creative Director: Ben Clare
Senior Art Director: Laura Brown
Senior Copywriter: Tom Bradbeer
Head of Design: Pete Majarich
Editor: Annie Davidson
Senior Strategist: Zach Rippon
Senior Account Manager: Ali Spillane
Senior Account Manager: Claudia Hovers
Head of Client Services: Kelly Spence
PR: Manuel Cavaleri

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