NHS England marked Valentine’s Day with a hard-hitting campaign aimed at raising awareness of the early symptoms of a heart attack. The push was created in partnership with M&C Saatchi London.
The core objective of the campaign was to get people to recognise the early symptoms of a heart attack, which can often be dismissed or ignored.
Heart attack symptoms aren’t always severe, with people sometimes getting a squeezing sensation across the chest or a general feeling of unease, rather than the sudden sharp pains often seen in portrayals of heart attacks in popular culture.
The new campaign aims to raise awareness of this and give people the encouragement and permission they need to call 999 right away if they experience these symptoms.
A 30-second film, directed by Barney Cokeliss at Mad Cow Films, depicts the early symptoms of a heart attack by showing a man standing in a layby at the side of a road, with hands emerging from his jacket and squeezing his chest. The voiceover tells viewers: “The early symptoms of a heart attack don’t always feel severe, but it’s never too early to call 999.”
Ben Golik, chief creative officer, M&C Saatchi, added: “The dramatic film cliché of a “clutch and drop” cardiac arrest has taken root as the popular understanding of a heart attack. But the actual symptoms vary, and can be much more insidious. This film’s powerful visual is inspired by descriptions from real heart attack survivors, and looks to sear a new and more true image onto the public consciousness.”
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