Judi Dench sucks Benedict Cumberbatch’s face in Red Nose Day ad

Campaign explores what it means to be human.

Comic Relief has enlisted actors Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch for a campaign discussing the nuances of human nature, ahead of this year’s Red Nose Day festivities.

Created by Pablo, “Funny is power” begins as Dench asks: “What is it to be human?”

The Academy Award-winning actor goes on to ponder the unifying and dividing aspects of the human experience, from family and marriage to protests and civil unrest.

Dench then declares that the one thing that unites us all is that "this is pretty funny”, before sucking Cumberbatch’s face – with a vacuum cleaner.

The ad ends with the tagline: “Funny is power, and we’ve never needed that power more.”

The TV ad is set to go live this week alongside digital and out-of-home activity (created by Pablo lead designer Mark Harrison), ahead of BBC One’s Red Nose Day night on 19 March.

It was created by Amy Fasey and Jacob Hellstrom, and directed by Sami Abusamra through Mister Tibbs. Media is handled by The Kite Factory.

In February last year, Pablo worked on Sports Relief’s “It’s game on”, which marked Pablo's first work for Sport Relief since winning the account in 2019.

“Our work together on Sport Relief 2020 helped us to increase our brand relevance and increase understanding of the areas we fund,” Jo Cullen, head of marketing and media at Comic Relief, said.

“We are looking forward to achieving the same with our flagship Red Nose Day campaign.”

Cullen continued: “We’re excited to see how all this brilliant work comes to life this Red Nose Day.”

In previous years, brands including KFC, Royal Mail, Mini Babybel and PG Tips have created work to coincide with Red Nose Day.

Nathalie Gordon, creative director at Pablo, added: “We all have the power to give a funny – to fight back against the injustices of the world with the one weapon we all have, laughter. 

“This campaign is all about how we all have the ability to make a real difference by just doing small things like, wearing a Red Nose and laughing at the TV.”

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