Focus: Campaign of the week - TV ad highlights danger of asthma

Georgina Lock,

Organisation: Asthma UK

Campaign: Deadly Serious

Agency: Claydon Heeley, Mike Colling & Company, Personal Telephone Fundraising, Broadsystem

Asthma UK has launched its first television advertising campaign in a bid to raise public awareness of the prevalence and dangers of the condition and ultimately attract more funds.

There are 5.2 million people with asthma in the UK, and one person dies from it every seven hours. However, 90 per cent of these deaths are said to be preventable.

These are just some of the statistics that fill the screen in the advert.

It doesn't show any people, but encourages those who see it to telephone for an Asthma UK pocket guide on what to do in an asthma attack.

This in turn, it hopes, will give the charity a wider pool of potential supporters to approach.

The 10 and 40-second DRTV adverts, which launched on Monday and are running throughout this week, are 'top and tailing' commercial breaks on a mix of terrestrial and satellite channels including GMTV, This Morning and Discovery Health.

Because the advert is aimed primarily at the parents of children with asthma, it will also be aired on children's channels such as Boomerang and CITV.

At the same time, Asthma UK is also relaunching its website and trialling a widespread integrated campaign that includes face-to-face fundraising across the south east of England, a telemarketing campaign aimed at cold prospects with a known link to asthma and a direct mail pack targeted at warm supporters.

Rachel Williams, assistant director for individual giving at Asthma UK, said the campaign was being run as a test, with a view to repeating it, possibly through more media channels, over the next two years.

She explained that although it might have been more successful to release the advert in the run-up to Christmas, this is a more cost-effective time of year to run TV ads. It will also help to raise awareness of the condition ahead of World Asthma Day on 2 May.

The overall cost of the advert, created in conjunction with Claydon Heeley, was less than £30,000. The charity's target is to raise £75,000 in a year and recruit 5,000 regular givers. Mike Colling & Company worked on the media strategy and placing the ads.

Williams said: "It is a really exciting time for the charity - we are getting the message out about not underestimating the seriousness of asthma and our commitment to preventing needless deaths."

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