Heart & Stroke issues a rallying cry for supporters to “beat as one”

Who: The Heart & Stroke Foundation, with Sid Lee for strategy and creative, and Neo for media.

What: “Beat,” an evocative new campaign that presents raw portraits of people fighting heart disease, and includes a rallying cry to join their fight.

When & Where: The campaign launched Nov. 9 and is running across media with a focus on video for TV and online, as well as outdoor, social and radio. The new “Beat” positioning will be used across all of the organization’s touch points: website, social platforms, earned media, DM fundraising campaigns, major gifts campaigns, and impact reports to donors.

Why: Because it’s tough to conduct charity fundraising through the usual means this year. Heart & Stroke needed a new campaign that reminded people of the challenges of fighting heart disease, and the ways in which the organization supports research and treatment.

“Beat is an evolution of our brand messaging, putting a real and honest face on myriad challenges brought on by our diseases while also communicating our role in finding solutions,” said Stephanie Cox, associate VP, marketing strategy at Heart & Stroke.

How: The messaging plays on the word beat: not just as in a heart beat, but also as in to defeat. “Beat can be used as communal rallying cry—’Beats as One’—recognizing we can’t fight these diseases alone and need to collaborate with and engage others to beat them,” said Cox. “And it can also be used to single out what we are working to beat: Beat heart attacks, beat strokes, beat sudden devastation, beat hypertension, beat inequity.”

The creative uses imagery of people at different stages of recovery from heart disease and strokes. The anthemic minute-long video ad, “Beat as One,” opens with the sounds of a heart beating before a narrator speaks: “We can be hurt, we can be bruised, we can be broken…. Slowed down, confused and even numbed. But we can’t be stopped and we can’t be defeated.” The rest of the ad shows people striving to recover from heart disease and stroke, along with the health care professionals and researchers working to save lives.

Display ads feature portraits of people afflicted by heart disease and strokes staring defiantly into the lens and in some cases showing the wounds from their fight—a long chest scar, a face that is partially paralyzed. The website includes long-form stories about individuals who have faced heart disease and stroke.

Quote: “For half of all Canadians, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ they will be hit. It is vital we continue to address the critical issues to stop the devastating effects of heart disease and stroke.” —Stephanie Cox, associate VP, marketing strategy at Heart & Stroke.

“We rarely see people affected by heart disease, stroke or related conditions express how they defy and overcome their challenges. It’s this strength, this spirit that inspired us to share pictures, videos and testimonials from people who have been affected and strongly believe that together, we can beat these conditions.” —Vincent Ramsay-Lemelin, executive creative director, Sid Lee

David Brown