Channel 5 has marked the launch of its new real life series The Gift of Life with an arresting marketing campaign designed to highlight the plight of the 7000 people in the UK who are currently waiting for an organ transplant.
A group of actors, dressed as hospital patients in surgical gowns and pushing saline drips, took to the streets of London on October 20, to highlight the shocking statistic that in the UK, three people die every day – and 21 people every week – in need of an organ transplant.
A camera team captured the reaction of passers-by as they looked on at the ‘patients’ in locations across the capital including Oxford Street, Victoria and Westminster Bridge. Channel 5 deployed a promotional team to hand-out flyers and give information about the show and the Organ Donor Register alongside the stunt.
The Gift of Life is a brand new three-part Channel 5 series, produced with support from NHS Blood and Transplant, starting on Wednesday 21 October at 10pm. The series follows the real-life journeys of patients in need of life-saving organ transplants. Filmed at the Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, each episode focuses on patients as they wait in hope for organs to become available before their window for life saving surgery closes forever.
Produced in partnership with the NHS and with exclusive access to the Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne over the course of six months, along with the patients and their families, The Gift of Life offers an intimate insight into one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences most people will be fortunate enough never to have to experience.
Jo Bacon, Vice President, Channel 5 and MTV Europe, Marketing, Creative, Publicity and Media said: “Encouraging people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is such an important issue and forms the basis of our integrated marketing campaign to both external and internal audiences. Working closely with NHS Blood and Transplant and the inspirational people featured in the series, our ambition is to reach a broad consumer audience across platforms with a crucial message. We urge people to make a difference and give the gift of life.”
The integrated cross-platform marketing campaign leading up to launch also includes:
- Creative campaign featuring the story of Holly, an inspiring young donor recipient from the show
- Social media activation encouraging registered organ donors to either upload a hand on heart selfie using #GiftOfLife or to update their social profile photos with the Channel 5 heart logo to pledge their support
- A bespoke Channel 5 logo created for on air and campaign branding, with the 5 embraced in a hand on heart animation
- A paid for digital campaign garnering over 1m video views to date
- Talent endorsement across on air and social via pieces to camera from registered donors including
- Holly Hagan, Eamonn Holmes and Sarah Beeny
- Nationwide digital out of home on day of transmission encouraging sign up
- All activity undertaken with official support from the NHS Blood and Transplant
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said; “Programmes like this show that transplants really do save lives, but they wouldn’t be possible without people donating their organs after death. With three people dying every day in the UK in need of a transplant, more needs to be done to increase the number of organs available. Tell those closest to you that you want to be a donor so that when the time comes it will make the decision that much easier for your family and more lives will be saved.”
If you are a donor, tell your friends and loved ones on social media by uploading your hand on heart selfie using #GiftOfLife or go to the Channel 5 Facebook to add our heart to your profile picture to show you’ll give The Gift of Life.
Around 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant, so it’s vital that people sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) and tell their families about their decision.