British Heart Foundation launches back to school-themed video

The health charity's Bag it. Beat it campaign encourages people to donate clothes and fund its research

From the British Heart Foundation's Bag it. Beat it campaign video
From the British Heart Foundation's Bag it. Beat it campaign video

What is it?

The British Heart Foundation has launched a new short video as part of its Bag it. Beat it campaign, established to encourage people to donate bags of clothes to its shops this September. The 20-second video features a 10-year-old boy in school uniform who tells the viewer that his parents say he was "put on this earth for a reason" and that he is a "miracle", before revealing that he has had open heart surgery and opening his shirt to reveal his scar. The video ends with a call to action, asking viewers to "fill a bag to fund life-saving heart research".

Why is the charity doing it?

The charity says that nine in 10 children born with congenital heart disease are now attending their first day of school thanks to its research – the equivalent of 4,000 children every year. Before the BHF was founded, only one in five babies born with congenital heart disease reached their first birthday. But the charity says that more than 40,000 schoolchildren in the UK have congenital heart disease, which is why the donations are needed.

What else?

After they watch the video, viewers are being encouraged to "bag it and share it" (on Facebook) or to "bag it and tweet it". There is a counter on the charity’s website showing how many bags of clothes have been donated to meet its one million target, based on these social media shares. After day two of the campaign, it had already reached 100.

There is simple, clear information about what the shops can and cannot sell, a tool for finding local shops and details about how to set up collections at schools or workplaces.

Third Sector verdict

Timing the campaign to fit in with the start of the new school year is a clever move, and the film is clearly intended to appeal to the emotions of parents. A giant version of the video is currently dominating the charity's home page, which sends a bold message. Asking people to donate bags of clothing and post about it on social media is a welcome variation on the "do something for charity, donate and share" formula followed by many digital campaigns, and shows that online campaigns can translate into real-world actions beyond sending a text and donating a few pounds.

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