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Yellow Wiggle Greg Page stars in Heart Foundation’s ‘Hand on Heart’ national campaign

“I’m going in for open heart surgery. I may not make it so, you know, love you all, and I’ll see you in the morning, hopefully.” That was the phone call then-24-year-old Geoff had to make when he unexpectedly experienced tingles down his arm and chest pain. Now, the cardiologist-in-training’s story serves as a warning to others in the Heart Foundation’s new national ‘Hand on Heart’ campaign.

Geoff’s hero film – which kicks off the campaign today and will air for eight weeks – is joined by another starring Greg Page, better known as the Yellow Wiggle. At the start of the year, Page collapsed on stage during a reunion show for The Wiggles; he’d suffered a heart attack.

“I didn’t seriously think I was at risk,” Page admitted. “I really didn’t.

“Look, I’ve had an amazing life … Had I gone that night, you know, that would have been my life, I’d achieved a lot, I’d done so much. Would I have left a hole in my family’s life? Yeah, for sure. And am I glad I’m here? Bloody oath I am, because I have a second chance.”

The campaign, created by bespoke agency DDB Remedy, sees the Heart Foundation once again partner up with News Corp, and aims to reach millions of Australians via the media company’s digital assets. The Foundation has a homepage takeover today on news.com.au, and News Corp will provide editorial coverage to support ‘Hand on Heart’.

The hero film will air on channels including SBS On Demand, YouTube, News Corp’s video platforms, and Facebook, and is supported by a 30s TVC.

The Heart Foundation and News Corp achieved huge success with last year’s ‘Serial Killer’ campaign, but the foundation’s follow up campaign, ‘Heartless Words’, was divisive. It was pulled just days after launching after backlash to the ad, which included a mother telling her child: “every time I told you I loved you I was lying”.

Chief marketing officer Chris Taylor said at the time: “There is a huge amount of complacency when it comes to our heart health and because of this, we chose to take a risk. We concede that on this occasion that risk has overstepped the mark.”

Of Hand on Heart, the foundation’s first integrated brand campaign, Taylor said the focus is on driving donations to fund research, with 90% of funding coming from the community rather than the government.

“Over sixty years, the Heart Foundation has helped pioneer several gamechangers in this field, such as the pacemaker, research to repair damaged hearts and life-saving medicines to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” Taylor said.

“But despite significant advances, heart disease remains our single biggest killer, claiming 48 lives each day. This campaign illustrates why the Heart Foundation, with Australians’ support, must continue to drive discoveries that make a difference to those affected by this insidious disease.

“The simple, heartfelt gesture of placing our hand on our heart symbolises the commitment we’re asking Australians to make in helping make heart disease history. We will continue to use this symbol of awareness for the Heart Foundation in existing appeals, such as Give with Heart Day.”

Hand on Heart will run nationally for eight weeks, before continuing with social and digital promotions until December. And, in capital cities, 30s radio ads will run as part of the campaign, tied to the message: “Every dollar invested in medical research brings us one step closer to an Australia free of heart disease.”

In April, the foundation kicked off a national COVID-19 education campaign, informing Australians with heart disease that they are more vulnerable to severe coronavirus complications. Taylor said the onset of the pandemic forced the Heart Foundation to change its approach.

“Like most brands in Australia, the catastrophic bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink our marketing plan for 2020. We needed to create a plan to maintain and grow our ability to respond quickly and effectively,” Taylor explained.

“The successful COVID-19 campaign highlighted to new generations the vital work the Heart Foundation does in supporting people with heart disease and those at risk of developing it.”

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