Marie Curie is paying tribute to those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic with the launch of a National Day of Reflection, which is set to take place on 23 March – the first anniversary of the day on which the UK first went into lockdown.
Created by Saatchi & Saatchi and set to the tune of Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran (a song written about the artist’s late grandmother), the spot begins as a man called Mark dances with his daughter, before showing a solitary photo of Mark’s suit.
It goes on to commemorate those who have died during the pandemic via everyday items that were significant to them, including sunglasses, a keyboard, a wheelchair and a record player.
The TV campaign is launched alongside radio and digital activity, as well as 30- and 15-second versions of the film and a coffee table book that features objects left behind from the loved ones who have died during the pandemic.
It was written by Sam Simmonds, art directed by George Coyle and Rodrigo Castellari, and produced by Prodigious. Media is handled by Opticomm.
“A National Day of Reflection will be especially important for the estimated six million people who have been bereaved since the pandemic began, who have been unable to properly say goodbye or comfort their family, friends, and colleagues in their grief,” Esther Jackson, director of communications, marketing and digital at Marie Curie, said.
“We want the nation to take a moment in time to reflect on the overwhelming loss of life we’ve faced and to reach out and connect with someone who is grieving – either by having a chat, sending a card, a message or spring flowers."
Supported by 70 organisations, Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection encourages Brits to participate in a minute of silence at midday on 23 March.
Members of the public are also invited to shine a light from their doorsteps at 8pm GMT as a beacon of remembrance, with other prominent buildings engaging in the day’s sombre festivities.
Guillermo Vega, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “Whether it’s a photo on the wall, a wedding dress, the chair they used to sit in or the pen they used – possessions like this help us to feel close to the ones we love and those we’ve lost.?
“We wanted to support the hugely important work that Marie Curie does and honour a challenging year for people up and down the country by conveying a message that while the person may no longer be with us, we can keep their memory alive – and that’s something to cherish right now.”
In April last year, Marie Curie launched an emergency appeal to support nurses caring for the terminally ill during the Covid-19 pandemic.