Creative Director's Cut: How this Macmillan ad brings the brutality of grief to life

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Creative Director's Cut: How this Macmillan ad brings the brutality of grief to life
How this Macmillian ad brings the brutality of grief to life

How this Macmillian ad brings the brutality of grief to life

Sue Higgs, group creative director and creative lead

I lost my dad to cancer, June 20th 2019.

It was, and is still to this day, one of the most excruciating painfully brutal things I’ve ever experienced; grief is indescribable, impenetrable and infinite.

In the last few precious days of his life in hospital, the Macmillan nurses came and looked after my dad. They brought smiles, care and even scissors one day, trimming his hair as he hadn’t time before he went in to hospital.

As I watched them do their job with all the love and care in awe it was spell binding, humbling and just so human. Nothing was too much, there was laughter amongst the pain relief.

I remember thinking, fuck, what a vacuous shallow job I do. These nurses are literally angels and all you do is try to get people to buy shit.

Then a film like this comes along and it reminds me that when our job is done right, the power of a creative to tell these human stories transcends beyond.

What we do can be powerful. We can move people, tell narratives that need to be told, not shy away from the uncomfortable.

This is one of the most poignant films I’ve seen in a while and it floored me.

Possibly because it’s so pertinent to me, but I’d counter.

If you’ve been there there’s so much to recognise but even if you haven’t, there’s much to understand.

To encapsulate all the beauty and pain of what Macmillan do in a two-minute film is simply remarkable.

There is light in the dark, levity in the bleak. And these angels bring it in spades.

It is an extraordinary piece of work, everything about it hits the right notes, and it's crafted masterfully.

We are all humans just trying to do the best by other humans.

Advertising would do well to remember that.

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Sue Higgs

Sue Higgs

  • Group creative director

Read Sue Higgs's bio and content

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