Marie Curie, the UK charity dedicated to the care of people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, has launched an emergency fundraising campaign to tackle a potential shortfall in donations triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
With claims that the sector could be rocked by a £4.3bn fall in income of over the next three months, Saatchi & Saatchi has devised the campaign, under the strapine of “On Hold”. It reminds consumers that while Covid-19 has put everything on hold – from theatre and sports to holidays and weddings – end-of-life care cannot be put on hold.
Running across radio, print, and social media, media owners are being urged to donate media space which has been freed up due to coronavirus cancellations.
Saatchi is hoping that TV companies will also donate space the appeal, which it been produced at no financial cost to the charity. It will run in 60, 30 and 20-second versions.
The ad relies on imagery, including an empty stadium and a deserted museum, to illustrate how our way of life has changed, followed by the strapline: “Not everything is on hold”. It then features Lin, a woman with terminal cancer, who says that she does not know how long she has left to live.
The radio ad is voiced by Marie Curie ambassador and actor Jim Carter, best known for his role as head butler Mr Carson in Downton Abbey. The soundtrack has been donated by Tom Odell.
Marie Curie marketing and communications director Esther Jackson said: “At this time of national emergency, Marie Curie Nurses and front-line staff are needed more than ever as the NHS is put under ever greater strain.
“Sadly, some people’s lives will be shortened by coronavirus, so the need for end of life care will be greater. Marie Curie can meet this need, and in doing so will help free up intensive care beds needed for coronavirus patients.
Consequently, we hope this campaign will raise further awareness of the vital role our front-line staff provide for people at the end of their life.”
Saatchi chief creative officer Guillermo Vega added: “Thousands of people are potentially spending their last days in lockdown. Marie Curie urgently needs funds to carry on being there to support them, and the NHS, on the front-line. We’re proud to use our creativity for such a vital appeal, and proud of everyone working together remotely to make it happen.”
Last week, the Government’s Paymaster General joined calls for the Treasury to launch an emergency support package for charities. As yet, however, there has been nothing forthcoming.
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