'Heart disease is heartless' by DLKW Lowe for British Heart Foundation

‘Heart disease is heartless’, DLKW Lowe’s powerful and highly emotive TV and cinema ad for the British Heart Foundation, has won the September/October 2015 Thinkboxes award for TV ad creativity.

Directed by Tom Tagholm through Park Pictures, the commercial features a boy called Ben who receives an unexpected classroom visit by his dad who’s come to tell him he won’t be coming home that night. Or, indeed, any other. 

Carefully paced, the full reveal occurs when, as the father leaves, the headmaster calls Ben to his office, where his mother waits to tell him his father has died.

The ad is designed to bring to life the sudden and unexpected devastation of heart disease – how it can strike without warning, tearing families apart, as BHF director of marketing and engagement Carolan Davidge explains. 

“This campaign marks the start of a long-term strategy for BHF which aims to shift the way people think about heart disease,” she says. 

“We want it to give people an emotional wake-up call, showing them that heart disease can rip people away from friends and family without warning.” 

Davidge adds: “By making people contemplate the unexpected devastation that heart disease causes, we hope to inspire them to donate funds to continue BHF’s lifesaving research.”

‘Heart disease is heartless’ is part of a multichannel campaign that also includes online, outdoor and mobile. 


This is the start of a long-term strategy which aims to shift the way people think

Carolan Davidge Director of Marketing and Engagement, British Heart Foundation

Creative agency: DLKW Lowe ; Creative team: Mike Boles, Jerry Hollens; Client: Carolan Davidge; Production company: Park Pictures; Director: Tom Tagholm 

Other ads on the podium

Glorious! Soups:  Every spoonful a new adventure (2nd)

  • Creative agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
  • Creative team Zac Ellis, Richard Littler, Alex Grieve, Adrian Rossi
  • Client Ian McGregor
  • Production company Independent Films
  • Director Gary Freedman

Lotto: Please not them - Noel Edmonds (3rd)

  • Creative agency adam&eveDDB
  • Creative team Ben Tollett
  • Client Ros King
  • Production company Rogue
  • Director Sam Brown

Also shortlisted

Honda: Steps

  • Creative agency BBH
  • Creative team Olivia Shortland, Stephanie Flynn
  • Clients Meghan Farren, Mette Jensen, Evgeny Bik
  • Production company Pulse
  • Director Michael Pearce

O2: Make them giants

  • Creative agency JWT London
  • Creative team John Cherry, Miles Bingham, Claudia Southgate
  • Client Hannah Norbury
  • Production company Moxie Pictures
  • Director Christos & Yannis

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month’s picks… 

Brian Cooper

The British Heart Foundation sees a soon-to-be-deceased dad played opposite his very alive son. It all takes place implausibly in the classroom. But the film works so well and, because it does, it convinces by making us see the world anew.

Brian Cooper Executive Creative Director, Dare

Click here to see who won the previous award

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