‘Every time I told you I loved you, I was lying’: Heart Foundation campaign targets families

The Heart Foundation has launched a campaign which is likely to anger families, with a TV ad contending if you don’t look after your health, you don’t love your family enough.

The ‘Heartless Words’ campaign by Host/Havas features one mother telling her son “every time I said I loved you, I was lying”, and another telling her daughter she doesn’t care about her childern’s hearts. 

Note: The 60-second TVC has since been removed from YouTube. 

Chris Taylor, chief marketing officer of the Heart Foundation told Mumbrella the campaign is unashamedly trying to get people to act as too many are becoming complacent about heart disease.

“We believe that the most important thing to people is their family, their loved ones and their friends,” he said. “Sometimes when it comes to our health, we only think about the affect it has on us and our own wellbeing. We believe that by bringing to the forefront the affect not looking after your health can also have on your loved ones, we will hopefully gain traction, and ultimately convince more people to get a Heart Health Check, if not for themselves, then for their loved ones.

Despite the controversy the strategy is likely to cause,  Taylor said the organisation, and this campaign in particular, is trying to reduce suffering.

“In many cases heart disease is preventable, but this relies on early intervention. We actively encouraging Australians to take advantage of the new Medicare item number and visit their GP to get a heart health check, this issue won’t be solved by a single campaign. This is something the Heart Foundation will be promoting for the foreseeable future. We need to remind people that heart disease can touch our lives in many ways – but that there are things you can do to reduce your risk, starting with having a heart health check,” he said.

The outdoor execution of the Heartless Words campaign

Host/Havas executive creative director Jon Austin, said its easy to fall into the trap of being complacent.

“While working with the Heart Foundation, the agency team decided to go and get their heart health checked. Many of us kept deprioritising it and putting emails and meetings ahead of a 20-minute appointment.

“This made us realise that we were quite literally choosing work over our hearts and the hearts of those who loved us; that we were voluntarily putting ourselves at risk. The team have done a phenomenal job in creating a powerful reminder of the potential significance of inaction.”

The ‘Heartless Words’ campaign will continue to leverage the Heart Foundation’s partnership with News Corp, across its metro, local and regional papers. It will run for eight weeks across TV on Seven and Foxtel, as well as on digital, outdoor, and social.

Taylor will be speaking about the  Heart Foundation’s previous campaign, ‘Serial Killer’ at Mumbrella’s Health Marketing Summit on 22 August


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