BOYS DO CRY - Simon Lee at The Hallway

By AdNews | 3 December 2021
Simon Lee.

A new series by AdNews shines a light on toxic masculinity and encourages Australians to support themselves and their mates. Featuring industry leaders sharing personal experiences with the tagline -- When the going gets tough, get talking.

It celebrates the BOYS DO CRY campaign, which launched with a transformed version of The Cure’s iconic song, Boys Don’t Cry. The campaign is the brainchild of independent advertising agency The Hallway, produced in partnership with The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Mental Health, Heiress Films, Good Oil’s Tom Campbell, Uncanny Valley, Initiative and powered by UnLtd – raising funds for mental fitness foundation Gotcha4Life.

Next up is Simon Lee, Executive Creative Director and Partner at The Hallway, and also the brains behind the Boys Do Cry campaign.

  1. When was the last time you cried?
    A few days before the Boys do Cry campaign went live, I sent a link to the film to my Dad. He video-called me an hour or so later with tears streaming down his face and we cried together as we talked about the project. It was great; arguably one of the best conversations we've ever had :)
  2. Tell us about your experience of traditional masculine stereotypes growing up.
    I was brought up in a very loving family environment, but there was definitely a very British, underlying stiff-upper lip attitude to dealing with difficult emotions. I also have very clear memories of watching ads by brands like Gillette and aspiring to be like the chiseled, strong, alpha males they featured. In fact, everything from the comic books I read, to the movies I watched, perpetuated a limited idea of "manliness".
  3. What would you tell your 15 year old self about opening up and showing your emotions?
    There are a lot of things I would say to my 15 year old self, but the best thing I could do is hold him in a big bear hug and say: "Let it all out; let it all out".
  4. What do you want for the next generation?
    The freedom for men to be vulnerable, to be soft, to talk about their feelings, to cry.
  5. What do we, as a society, need to do to challenge views that men should always put on a brave front?
    Bring an end to two dimensional macho portrayals of masculinity and co-create a narrative that frees men up to be wholly, emotionally, healthily human. Boys Do Cry is hopefully a step in the right direction but we've got to keep the story going and growing.



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