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.