Stephen Dorrell, the Health Secretary, this week unveiled a
hard-hitting pounds 1 million campaign aimed at persuading more people
to take up nursing as a career.
Saatchi and Saatchi is seeking to transform the image of nurses as the
hand-maidens of doctors by showing real-life examples of their expanding
role in which they can make a crucial difference.
Six press ads, targeted mainly at 17- to 24-year-olds, break in youth
and women’s magazines this weekend, using titles ranging from Just 17 to
The ads, which bear the strapline, ’Nursing: have you got what it
takes?’, pull no punches. They each depict a file of case notes,
focusing on one particularly difficult patient. One commercial shows a
heart attack victim with a defibrillator machine and says: ’Too much
voltage and he dies. Not enough and he dies.
Another gives an insight into the mind of a psychiatric patient who
wants to ’end my life’, while a third shows a young girl with learning
difficulties and asks: ’Good at languages? How soon could you learn to
speak fluent Karen?’
Saatchis’ brief was to boost the recruitment of general and mental
health nurses and nurses who help those with learning difficulties. The
campaign also aims to improve the calibre of recruits and to reduce the
drop-out rate during training.
The ads were written by Mike McKenna and art directed by Colin Jones and
’We spent a lot of time with nurses in order to understand the nature of
their responsibilities today,’ Alasdair Fraser, a planning director at
Saatchis, said. ’The ads are based on true stories that show nurses
making a real difference.’
Romola Christopherson, the director of information at the Department of
Health, said: ’A lot of effort has been put into this campaign. The
result is impressive; I think it will do a good job for us.’