TV Ad Featuring Royals Caused Website to Crash

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. unresponsive / ˌʌn rɪˈspɒn sɪv / (adj) – not reacting to a certain command; does not work

    My computer became unresponsive after I opened several apps.

  2. simultaneously / ˌsaɪ məlˈteɪ ni əs li / (adv) – happening at the same time

    During fashion week, famous brands showcase their clothing lines simultaneously.

  3. downtime / ˈdaʊnˌtaɪm / (n) – a period when something is not working or not available for use

    The website is currently experiencing downtime because of its regular system maintenance.

  4. indicator / ˈɪn dɪˌkeɪ tər / (n) – a sign showing that something exists or happens

    Making time for someone is a good indicator that you are interested in that person.

  5. a quantum leap / ə ˈkwɒn təm lip / (idiom) – a huge and significant improvement

    The opening of the new train line to the country’s northernmost island is a quantum leap toward transportation development.


Read the text below.

A TV commercial narrated by the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex caused a huge amount of traffic to a mental health website and made it unresponsive.

Together with some famous celebrities, members of the British Royal Family—namely William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan—were featured in a commercial advocating mental health awareness and promoting a website called Every Mind Matters. The commercial aired simultaneously all over the United Kingdom.

Minutes after the broadcast, a large number of people must have rushed to check the website. A representative of the campaign believes that this caused the temporary downtime.

The TV commercial and the website are part of the campaign of the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England (PHE) to inform people about mental health. The website aims to help people recognize the early indicators of mental health problems and give practical ways of dealing with stress, mood swings, and sleeping problems.

An executive from the NHS said that the campaign is a quantum leap in improving people’s awareness and attitude toward mental health.

Health officials came up with the initiative after a study revealed that over 80% of 3,000 adults in England had suffered from the early symptoms of poor mental health conditions. Officials believe the website will allow people to address their mental health issues at the earliest possible time using practical ways that can be found on the website.

In the future, health officials plan to include other contents to the website, such as mental health care during and after pregnancy and a guide for parents on how to take good care of their children.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think people only visited the mental health website because members of the British Royal Family were involved? Why or why not?
• Aside from featuring famous people, what other things would help this campaign be more successful? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think featuring famous people distracts the audience from the message of certain campaigns? Why or why not?
• What kind of ad makes you want to take action, like visit the website or buy the product (e.g. comedy, featuring professionals)? Explain.