Hot Pick

MullenLowe Group


Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor of BITE


We are the NHS

From passive affection, to active recruitment: recruiting the next generation of the NHS workforce.

Disciplines: Advertising/Creative, Brand strategy

Sector: Public Sector

Agency: We are the NHS, MullenLowe Group

BITE Insight

Seventy years ago, the NHS was introduced to bring good healthcare to all, regardless of wealth. And that is what it is renowned for. But in recent years, the messaging surrounding the institution has been more one of a lack of funding and staff shortages.

For their 70th anniversary campaign, the NHS worked with MullenLowe Group to create a TV campaign, We Are the NHS, designed to retain existing nurses and attract the next generation of the workforce.

We Are the NHS was shot on location in working hospitals in Margate and Ashford and sees real nurses treating real patients and even, for the first time in a TV commercial, footage of a real birth; Maisie at seven pounds, two ounces. Throughout its creation, the team conferred with nurses to ensure that the ads portrayal of the nature of the job wasn’t sugar coated in anyway.

With a soundtrack by the Cinematic Orchestra, the ad takes a documentary approach to show the NHS in motion through every hour of every day of every year, drawing comparisons with hospital documentary shows such as 24 Hours in A&E and One Born Every Minute. We Are the NHS conveys the power of the institution and the fundamental importance of each individual. The slot deftly moves between shots to demonstrate the emotional roller-coaster of life in a hospital and to highlight the nurses who help ensure it runs smoothly.

The NHS is important to all of us in one way or another and it’s this pride that the ad sets out to capture. From birth to death and everything in between, the NHS has offered support, given us guidance and in some cases, even worked miracles.

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