Fuel Your Imagination

British Heart Foundation celebrates the gift that keeps on living

The new campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi encapsulates the moments that matter at Christmas

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

Share


It’s relationships, not excessive spending at retailers, that matter the most at Christmas. In the midst of the cost of living crisis Saatchi & Saatchi’s new campaign for the British Heart Foundation hits all the right notes. 

In the place of the usual excess of the festive period, the spot centres on a very ordinary low-key Christmas and focuses lovingly on the lived experiences of people living with heart conditions. 

The creative was developed after the agency worked closely with the BHF’s Patient and Public Panel to speak with people living with heart conditions and their loved ones. The anecdotes, insights and lived experience are at the centre of the script, storyline and direction of the finished film. An approach which ensures that the campaign lovingly brings to life the lasting impact of almost losing someone you love to heart problems.  

The campaign was directed by Molly Burdett, who was appointed after her work featured in Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Creators’ Showcase 2022, which was screened at the UK Creative Festival at Margate and at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Her empathetic direction ensures that this spot will stop consumers in their tracks with its blend of warmth and honesty.

 

 

The work will run across TV, VOD, digital, social and radio. The film sets up as if it is going to tell the story of a typical Christmas day for a young couple. Playing on the familiar household tug of wars which come hand in hand with the festive season, the ad’s voiceover lists all of the things that each of them “weren’t supposed to” do - from burning potatoes to buying unexpected gifts. (‘I thought we weren’t doing presents this year’ is a familiar refrain which will doubtless play out across the country this year.)

The spot then shifts gears by cutting to a chest scar, revealing that none of what we’ve seen was ‘supposed’ to happen - because if it wasn’t for lifesaving research, the dad and husband featured in the advert wouldn’t have been here at all this Christmas. 

Drawing on real-life insights and by telling the story from the perspective of the survivor's partner, the creative shows the impact that living with heart conditions can have on loved ones too, and ultimately the hope and life that a donation to the BHF can bring. 

Damion Mower, Head of Brand and Health Engagement at the British Heart Foundation, said: “At Christmas, we usually gift material things. But for this festive season, we’re asking people to give the gift of a longer life for people with heart conditions, by helping to fund our ground-breaking research. ‘The gift that keeps on living’ perfectly encapsulates both the real experiences our survivors and their families have kindly shared with us, and the life-changing impact of donations. We hope we can continue to make more Christmases possible as a result.”

Franki Goodwin, Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi,  explained, “We wanted the film to reflect on the human value of the scientific research that the BHF does as we ask for donations at a difficult financial time for everyone. For a story this simple we knew we needed to work with a director who could tell it quietly, in order to bring to life the emotional weight behind it. Molly’s work - which we saw at our New Creators’ Showcase earlier this year - immediately came to mind, and we’re so pleased she was up for the challenge.”

Director Molly Burdett added: “It was really important to us to weave real stories into the film by speaking to people who have been directly affected by heart conditions. I loved working with the actors to bring out these intimate, authentic moments inspired by real stories and their experiences. We hope this film helps build awareness for the life-changing work that BHF does.” 

Not just a compelling piece of work, but a timely reminder of the power of not just showcasing new talent, but actively hiring that talent to create work that resonates and makes a meaningful impact.

Related Tags

Christmas Healthcare