Digital campaign: Emotional Shooting Star Christmas advert becomes a viral hit

The Surrey-based charity worked with Shape History to create #FirstChristmas

The video is based on the real life experience of a family whose son died from cancer
The video is based on the real life experience of a family whose son died from cancer

There has been much talk and anticipation around the festive adverts to come from major retailers, but one local charity has produced a video that has touched an emotional nerve to become a social media hit.

The Surrey-based Shooting Star Chase worked with the social change organisation Shape History to create #FirstChristmas, a film designed to convey the "true meaning of Christmas". Exploring bereavement and personal loss through the eyes of a father struggling to come to terms with the loss of his son from cancer, the video shows how his family attempt to support each other in the build-up to Christmas. It was based on the real life experiences of a family.

The video is part of the History Shaper programme in which Shape History creates a pro bono campaign for a young person who’s working towards social change or an organisation helping young people.

Launched on 6 November, the video had been viewed 100,000 times in just over 48 hours. Within four days, #FirstChristmas had been viewed more than 170,000 times on Facebook and 11,000 times on YouTube, with a further 38,000 and 24,000 on BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex respectively.

Mike Buonaiuto, executive director of Shape History, said: "Retailers are annually pumping budgets of millions into Christmas advertising and it can distract from the true meaning of the festive period. We wanted to hijack that and remind the British public that the festive period is about looking out for the most vulnerable in society and being there for your nearest and dearest."

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