‘Fuck that’: Ad from ABC series Man Up tells men ‘it takes balls to cry’

“It takes balls to cry” is the strapline for the viral ad emerging from the ABC TV series Man Up, aimed to get men to open up about their feeling and “speak up” to cut the rates of male

The ad was created by Cummins & Partners chief strategy officer, Adam Ferrier, and former BWM and Host creative director Adam Hunt as part of the show hosted by TripleM Sydney breakfast host Gus Worland.

The ad, which encourages men to open up when they are feeling down, is designed to be shared on social media, and has been posted on Youtube and the Man Up Facebook page, where it has been shared more than 1,000 times in three hours.

The ad opens on a crying baby, noting how people are born knowing how to cry as a survival mechanism, before cutting to images of males – children and adults – crying in front of the camera.

“So why do we tell boys to stop crying? To harden up, to grow a pair?” it adds.

“Well, fuck that. If you feel down speak up, because silence can kill. It takes guts to show pain, it takes a man to feel, it takes balls to cry.”

It finishes by aping the usual white text on a black screen associated with public service messages, which reads:

Written and authorised by you mum, your dad, and every mate you’ve ever had.

“Your wife, your son, your daughter, your brother, your sister, they’ll all miss ya.

“Your girlfriend, your boyfriend, the girl in the milk bar, neighbours near and far.

“Your teacher, your dog, your barber, your boss, they’ll be sorry for your loss.

“These little words are yours to find, with love from those you’ll leave behind.”

The three-part documentary series, which concluded last night with 333,000 viewers on ABC last night, was funded by the Movember Foundation and University of Melbourne, which has been tracking the effectiveness of the series, with results to be presented at next month’s MSIX conference.


  • Adam Hunt, Advertising Person
  • Adam Ferrier, CSO, Cummins & Partners
  • Production: Heiress Films
  • The Movember Foundation
  • University of Melbourne
  • Director: Ben Lawrence

Professor Jane Pirkis will discuss the results of the show during the ‘Why Reality TV is the Best Tool for Mass Behaviour Change Ever Invented’ at the Marketing Science Ideas Xchange conference, curated by Adam Ferrier, on November 24. View the program and get your tickets here.



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