Govt targets 40- to 60-year-olds with new year Better Health campaign

Ad underpinned by research that found seven in 10 want to make healthier lifestyle changes due to coronavirus.

Better Health: encouraging people to exercise, meditate or choose healthy foods
Better Health: encouraging people to exercise, meditate or choose healthy foods

Public Health England and the NHS have kicked off the new year with a campaign to encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle, be it in losing weight, improving mental wellbeing or quitting smoking.

The campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, falls under the Better Health banner that was launched in July 2020, initially targeting obesity during the Covid-19 crisis.

It is aimed at all adults, but the main focus is on 40- to 60-year-olds and other groups who are most affected by the virus, such as those from black, Asian and minority-ethnic communities and those with long-term health conditions.

The work launches on TV, radio and social media today (Monday) and is set to Blondie's One Way or Another. It begins with people starting their day with exercise, meditation or healthy foods, and directs the viewer to the Better Health website.

It was created by Becky Brice and Amy Parkhill, and directed by Laura Scrivano through Missing Link Films. Wavemaker worked on media planning and OmniGov, Manning Gottlieb OMD's dedicated shop, handles the government's media buying.

The above-the-line spot is supported by a short film made by PR agency Freuds showing households around the country discussing their health journey in 2020 and their motivations for this year.

The campaign is underpinned by PHE's England-wide research of more than 5,000 adults that found seven in 10 people are motivated to make healthier lifestyle changes due to the pandemic.

Public health minister Jo Churchill said: "There is no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted particularly the impact obesity can have on some people's health and health outcomes.

"We know many people want to make changes for a healthier lifestyle and we want to help them. So the Better Health campaign provides a range of tools, like 'Couch to 5K', to support people in their choices. This, together with the government's world-leading obesity strategy, will help motivate and support everyone to take up healthier routines in 2021."

The government announced in summer 2020 that PHE would be scrapped, with some of its functions taken over by a new body called the National Institute for Health Protection. The change is to set to take place in the spring.


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