Voices

British Heart Foundation and Saatchi & Saatchi shows research can save lives

“This is science” shows how BHF research has turned science fiction into reality

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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In the UK alone, someone dies from heart and circulatory disease every three minutes. Worldwide, heart disease is believed to account for approximately a third of deaths. While science has come a long way in helping to cure heart disease, there still remains some way to go. 

To help bridge this gap,  raise awareness,  gain support and secure funding, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has launched its “This is science” campaign with Saatchi and Saatchi The campaign highlighting the charity’s need for greater public support if it is to continue to make scientific breakthroughs that will save and improve lives.

The hard hitting work tells the real stories of people who are only alive today thanks to the public’s donations powering BHF medical breakthroughs that have transformed science fiction into reality.

The campaign film, voiced by Peaky Blinder’s Cillian Murphy, opens with a young boy with a scar on his chest, getting ready for school. The voiceover reveals that, ‘he was a scientific hypotheses’, as the viewer sees a CGI visual of the 3D printed heart that was used to guide his surgery. 

The film then shows a man in his 60s in a forest, with the voiceover explaining ‘he was a ground-breaking innovation’, which is visualised as an artery being widened by a stent. 

Finally we see a teenage girl playing football before she collapses suddenly. The voiceover explains that the ‘breakthrough that could cure her is closer than ever’. The ad closes with a powerful message that; ‘With our research, we can keep saving lives like hers. Donate now to turn Science Fiction into Reality’.

At a time when the power of science is more appreciated than ever, our new campaign aims to leave the public in no doubt that their support fuels boundary-pushing research that saves lives

Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation

“The BHF has been making the impossible a reality for more than 60 years. But with heart and circulatory diseases still causing a quarter of all deaths in the UK, this campaign is a rallying call to ignite the nation to engage with the BHF and their mission.” explained Guillermo Vega, Chief Creative Officer Saatchi & Saatchi. 

He continued: “Using real stories, we wanted to celebrate the amazing innovations that are changing lives and showcase the ground-breaking developments that, without BHF funding and continued public support, will remain science fiction.”

“At a time when the power of science is more appreciated than ever, our new campaign aims to leave the public in no doubt that their support fuels boundary-pushing research that saves lives.” added Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation  “From heart attack treatments to life saving surgery, every day in the UK thousands of people benefit from BHF research that has turned science fiction into reality. 

Saatchi & Saatchi collaborated with director Ben Strebel through Biscuit Filmworks and MPC to bring the film to life. The work signifies the start of a new brand strategy for the BHF, positioning the charity as a crucial frontline agent in the battle to outsmart heart disease. In line with the new approach, Saatchi & Saatchi has developed a future-facing look to modernise the brand and better reflect the game-changing science the BHF supports. 

Saatchi & Saatchi were appointed as the BHF’s lead creative agency in early 2021, coinciding with the charity’s decision to bring together its fundraising and marketing teams. The move was made with the aim of driving a bigger impact from the BHF’s brand and fundraising activities.

“There are so many more people who need the breakthroughs our scientists are on the cusp of making. Our hope is that this is the start of a long-standing campaign that puts awe-inspiring science at the heart of our brand, and inspires more people to donate to power the BHF’s lifesaving research” continued Sadler.

Alongside the film, the integrated campaign includes press and out of home ads featuring the people from the film alongside CGI images that vividly depict the scientific breakthroughs they’ve benefited from. The campaign will be amplified by emotive videos and images, promoted on organic and paid social channels, telling the stories of real people who have benefited from BHF discoveries or are still waiting for the next breakthrough. 

For more information or to donate to BHF please click here

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