The Heart and Stroke Foundation gets real

The charity advises Canadians of the early onset of heart disease with a bold new campaign.

The grim reaper is not prejudice against gender or age. The unfortunate demise of a woman in her early 30s can occur just as suddenly as a man in his late 70s.

And so the Heart and Stroke Foundation decided to collaborate with Mindshare on media and creative agency Lowe Roche on a campaign that attempts to break the stereotype that only certain people, particularly older men, are prone to heart disease and stroke, Monica Ruffo, CEO, Lowe Roche tells MiC.

The “Make Death Wait” campaign urges every Canadian man and woman to prevent the early arrival of death by ensuring a healthy standard of living and by donating to the organization’s research efforts, she says.

Two hard-hitting commercials were created to illustrate the message. The first features an ominous voice speaking to the viewer about his love for women of all ages and occupations – from a stay-at-home mom to a working professional. The narrator explains that they put so much focus on their families’ health and never on their own and ends by saying that they never expected death to come for them.

The second spot is directed toward the male audience, with shots of three young friends working on the renovation of a home. The same deathly narrator tells the viewer how much he likes them, but has to decide which one he will take first.

“This campaign is meant to open people’s eyes to the fact that it can happen to anyone,” says Ruffo. “In order to get that message across, we had to be quite bold with it.”

The commercials will appear on national TV including CTV, CBC and Global, as well as specialty channels such as HGTV, Food Network, History Channel and the W Network, Lisa Chicules, VP of marketing and communications, Heart & Stroke Foundation, tells MiC.

The print component of the buy includes ads in Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Canadian Business, Food and Drink and Maclean’s, she says. Radio and newspaper ads will launch in February.

“This is a first ever for the Heart and Stroke Foundation where our public awareness messaging is integrated into our fundraising and communication channels nationally,” Chicules says, adding that all of the messaging will be integrated into the organization’s additional channels including direct mail and its door-to-door campaign.