Heart & Stroke wants more survivors from latest donation campaign

December 18, 2013  |  Jennifer Hough  |  Comments

Two young children expectantly press their noses up against a windowpane; a dog wags his tail in anticipation; a woman hugs her husband, tears in her eyes.

Depicting the joy of coming home after a hospital stay, these heart-tugging scenes are part of a new Heart and Stroke Foundation TV commercial that will light up screens across Canada starting next week.

The ad is the cornerstone of a new campaign by creative agency Ogilvy, “We Create Survivors,” the ultimate goal of which is to motivate the public to donate in a hugely competitive market, said Geoff Craig, the foundation’s chief marketing officer. Mindshare is handling the media while Environics oversees the PR.

“It’s a very tough environment out there with 86,000 charities for people to choose from across Canada. Since 2008, donations have been stagnating and data says that people are likely to give less than more in the future, and to fewer charities,” said Craig.

“We know that donors usually come on board because of an emotional connection to the charity, so we are upping the emotion… More money means that we can have more an impact on the lives of all Canadians by better fulfilling our mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery,” Craig said.

The charity is known for its upfront ads depicting real life situations. Its “Make Death Wait” campaign was particularly hard-hitting.

“Our ‘Make Death Wait’ campaign woke people up to the fact that people will die from these diseases. ‘Make Health Last’ gave people tools to help them make changes, now we are going back to people again saying, ‘We need your help.’”

The new ad will run in English and French across Canada, ramping up in February for Heart Month and continuing on into June for Stroke Month.

Another facet to the campaign, which also includes print and a text-to-donate program run through Rogers Communications, is a multi-part video series telling individual stories of real heart disease and stroke survivors aided by the charity.

“The video series is about giving people the opportunity to see where their money goes,” Craig said, adding that it will will run across the charity’s media channels and be used to retarget previous donors.

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