Digital campaign: BHF takes over The Sun as part of 'Unexpected' campaign

TV, cinema and online elements are running in conjunction with the adverts placed alongside editorial copy on selected pages of the newspaper

The British Heart Foundation took over pages of The Sun on Friday with targeted adverts designed to highlight the unexpected impact of heart disease.

A team of writers wrote adverts the night before publication to complement editorial copy on pages including the sports and TV sections in order to disrupt readers’ routine of looking at regular, daily features in the paper, changing the content to prompt them to look again.

The takeover is part of the BHF's Unexpected campaign, which was launched this week. It includes a new advert called When You Least Expect It, to be screened in cinemas as well as on TV, video-on-demand and YouTube pre-roll. In it, a maid of honour talks about being unable to celebrate her sister's wedding because she dies suddenly from the disease.

In a statement, the BHF said: "We hope that it will make readers stop and take notice of our campaign message that heart disease can strike anyone at any time. Sadly, many people misunderstand the scale and sudden nature of heart disease, and we wanted to highlight this through our campaign in a compelling way."

The charity has also created a piece of content called The Reality Behind the Campaign. It shows the reality of heart disease, which is what inspired the charity to create the advert. It includes a case study of a father who lost his daughter suddenly to an inherited heart problem when she was 16 years old. It will be shared on the BHF website and social media channels.

Running parallel to these is a bespoke social element called #Someonelikeme, which involves families filming themselves talking to camera about the impact that heart disease has had on them. The BHF believes the personal and intimate nature of these videos will be hard-hitting.

The primary aim of the campaign is to maintain awareness of heart disease, but also to make the public think more deeply about the issues. It comes after the BHF’s successful Classroom video of 2015, in which a boy is confronted by his father, who tells him he won’t be coming home.

It was the sixth most-complained-about advert in 2015, according to the Advertising Standards Authority but instead of shelving it, the charity ran it again in January last year.

Carolan Davidge, drector of marketing and engagement at the BHF, told Third Sector: "We want to change people's perceptions of heart disease, helping them realise it can kill when you least expect it. This means, in some instances, there won’t be any warning signs and loved ones won’t get a chance to say goodbye.

"We think that given the success of our Classroom advert, When You Least Expect It will help people realise that women are also at risk from heart disease and its unpredictable nature.

"A wedding, when you are surrounded by your loved ones, is the most unexpected moment for such a tragedy to take place, and seeing a young woman die is something most people cannot imagine."

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