This harrowing spot depicts the heroic work of cancer nurses during the pandemic

Campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support from AMV BBDO aims to depict their toughness as well as their compassion

Published On
Jan 08, 2021

Editor's Pick

Cancer patients are sometimes referred to as the forgotten victims of the pandemic. According to the U.K. charity Macmillan Cancer Support, as many as 50,000 people in the country are missing a cancer diagnosis because of the disruption caused by COVID-19, a number which could double by this time next year if cancer referrals and screening do not catch up.

That makes the role of Macmillan's specialist cancer nurses more important than ever, so the charity is calling for donations with a hard-hitting campaign via agency AMV BBDO that show the reality, sometimes very tough, of their work. Directed by Jonathan Alric of Iconoclast, best known for his "The Blaze" music videos, the film pulls no punches with its gritty depiction of the determination and empathy of these nurses as they work with vulnerable patients and their families. Although the majority of the patients are actors or street-cast, their performances are heart-rendingly authentic—and it's a tough watch for anyone who's experienced cancer. 

According to the agency, its research revealed that people are more likely to support and donate to charities that are seen as dynamic and effective and this was a key step in the campaign’s development. The caring side of Macmillan professionals is widely known but the tougher more tenacious side is less readily recognized.

"This new campaign brings to life our unique spirit by showcasing not just what Macmillan do, but how we do it—the kindness and compassion that we bring along with the grit and determination needed to ensure we can do whatever it takes for people with cancer," said Emma Guise, director of brand and communications for Macmillan, in a statement. "We hope this campaign will help the public see us differently and make us more relevant to them, so we can help all the people who need us right now and in the future."

The ad, which breaks this weekend in Saturday night’s episode of "The Voice," will run on TV, digital, social and radio. Meanwhile the wider campaign also sees the introduction of a refreshed visual identity which evolves the current look and feel of Macmillan.


Jan 08, 2021
Client :
Macmillan Cancer Support
Agency :
Chief Executive Officer :
Lynda Thomas
Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications :
Claire Rowney
Director of Brand and Communications :
Emma Guise
Head of Brand and Advertising :
Jo Juber
Senior Marketing Manager :
Samantha Mills
Chief Creative Officer :
Alex Grieve
Executive Creative Director :
Nadja Lossott
Executive Creative Director :
Nicholas Hulley
Creative Director :
Andy Clough
Creative Director :
Rich McGrann
Creative Team :
Benjamin Polkinghorne
Creative Team :
Scott Kelly
TV Producer :
Verity Elvin
Typographer/Designer :
Daniel Mead
Production Company :
Director :
Jonathan Alric
Production Company Producer :
Jane Lloyd
Production Company Executive Producer :
Guy Rolfe
DOP/Lighting Camerman :
Paul Ozgur
Editing Company :
Stitch Editing
Editor :
Nicolas Larrouquere
Sound Studio :
Sound Engineer :
Sam Ashwell
Music :
Max Richter
Post Production Company :
Flame :
Lora Nikolaeva
Colorist :
Matthieu Toullet
Executive VFX Producer :
Louise Unwin
VFX Producer :
Amie Kingsnorth
Strategy :
Tom White
Strategy :
Nicola Willison

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