BHF 24 Hours in A&E: Heart Special
PHD with the British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) raises awareness of heart and circulatory diseases such as stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes and funds over half of all non-commercial UK
research into treatments and cures for these diseases.
The amount spent on research, however, is disproportionately low compared to the burden of suffering, with heart and circulatory diseases the UK’s biggest killers, responsible for one in four deaths.
BHF wanted to highlight the link between the pioneering research it funds and the lifesaving treatments people receive every day, by telling stories about the frontline impact of the BHF’s work and how it keeps loved ones together. Channel 4’s award-winning documentary series: 24 Hours In A&E, became the campaign’s content provider, through the creation of a one-off ‘Heart Special’ – a 60-minute episode episode funded by BHF that solely told the stories of three individuals who found themselves in A&E with serious heart and circulatory conditions.
The show was promoted through Channel 4 PR, branded promotional airtime, as well as BHF and Channel 4 paid social support targeted to the BHF’s key donor audiences. At the start of each of the show’s three centre ad-breaks, there were specially-made, contextual ads featuring the loved ones of patients whose story had been told in the preceding part of the show, making the link between the story and the BHF’s work. Each ad ended with a call for donations.
Aired in the week after the UK entered its first official Covid-19 lockdown, when one disease dominated the news - the programme captured the hearts of the public - with two million tuning in. It shifted perceptions of the BHF and drove a considerable volume of donations, with BHF receiving 62% more text donations in one night than it typically receives from an entire month of TV fundraising activity.
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