British Gas campaign reveals untold plight of UK's carers

It is last work for utility company by Ogilvy UK.

British Gas reveals the hidden struggles of unpaid carers in the final campaign for the brand by Ogilvy UK.

Entitled "Two sides of the story", the ad will air in cinemas nationwide during Carers Week, which runs from 10 to 16 June. It features interviews with four real unpaid carers, while separately their closest friends are also asked questions about them. 

The film’s split-screen format shows the difference between how carers present themselves on the outside and how they really feel, forcing their friends to confront the realities of the carers’ lives. 

It is part of British Gas' "Share you care" campaign, which encourages carers to open up so they can get support. The spot will run across cinema, social media and British Gas’ website and employee communications, while exploring themes such as loneliness, mental health and juggling caring with the demands of life. 

There are more than 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK looking after a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. British Gas has a long-term partnership with charity Carers UK.

Jill Dougan, marketing director at British Gas, said: "We’re really proud to be working with Carers UK to recognise the phenomenal commitment of unpaid carers. They represent such a huge part of people across the country and within our business, and I think many people will be able to identify with the themes explored in this campaign." 

The work was created by Neal Williamson and Bertie Rapkin, and directed by David Stoddart through Dark Energy. MediaCom is the media agency. 

Dede Laurentino, chief creative officer at Ogilvy UK, added: "This cause strikes a chord with millions of people across the UK and we are immensely proud to have worked with British Gas to celebrate and thank unpaid carers for the incredible dedication they bring to people every day. The stories featured in the film are just a few of many and I hope this campaign helps remind everyone how important it is for carers to be valued and, most importantly, supported."

Ogilvy lost the British Gas direct marketing account earlier this year, after it was dropped from British Gas owner Centrica’s integrated review alongside sister agency Wavemaker. A team from Publicis Groupe is pitching for Centrica against a group comprising incumbent agencies The & Partnership and MediaCom, along with Wunderman Thompson.

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