Income Generation News
Charity Insight Contributor
Published 25 February 2011

We ask a creative agency to analyse a charity brand.

This month:

The British Heart Foundation
Richard Hayter struggles with a BHF advert

  • The British Heart Foundation's latest commercial starts off with a great creative idea around the impact heart disease can have on a family.
  • "Whoever says heart failure isn't catching..." is a cracking concept (and a well-written line) that really drew me in to the ad.
  • But just as I'm ready to hear more about the effect that our heroine's illness has had on her family, I'm confronted with a confusing story about the zebra fish and its in-built ability to repair heart damage.
  • Apparently, BHF scientists are studying the fish in attempt to replicate the effect in humans. Interesting, but confusing: a human story suddenly supplanted by one about a fish. It feels like two ads forced together by indecision.
  • When compared to previous ads such as the inspired "watch your own heart attack" (featuring a typically full-on performance from Steven Berkoff) of two years ago, the zebra fish ad is meek and eminently forgettable.
  • I hope this work is effective as the BHF do great work. However, I fear the confused narrative and lack of impact may result in disappointing results.


Richard Hayter, Executive creative director
The Gate Worldwide

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