#LoveYourLocalHospice – An Ad Campaign for Local Hospices

Sixteen hospices across the West Midlands have joined together to work on a television campaign entitled ‘Love Your Local Hospice’. Filmed at Douglas Macmillan Hospice and the Donna Louise Trust in Stoke on Trent, the campaign involves a series of ads aired on ITV from Sunday 12th to Tuesday 23rd February.

The ‘Love Your Local Hospice’ target audience? Everyone – young, old, male, female – fathers, grandmothers, neighbours; in short – you. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the incredible service that local hospices provide for adults and children with life-limiting illnesses, dispelling the myth of the ‘hospice’ as a dark, depressing place.

Liz Clarke, Head of Community Engagement and Communications at Douglas Macmillan Hospice, approached ITV a year ago with her plans for the campaign; ‘Without the collaboration of our hospices coming together, it wouldn’t have been possible to advertise on prime-time television.’ She realised that hospices could achieve much more working together as one entity rather than standing alone. In conjunction with the production company, Koala, who directed the ad, the team also created a bespoke film for each individual hospice which could be shown in the final frame of the ad, with a link to that hospice’s website.

Tricia Cavell, Fundraising Director at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, was also actively involved in the project. ‘I believe strength in numbers is crucial for hospices to survive in the current economic climate. The campaign aims to dispel myths and preconceived ideas surrounding hospice care.’ CEOs, Fundraising Directors and communications teams from hospices across the West Midlands, including Acorns Children’s Hospice, St Giles Hospice and Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, put their heads together in Birmingham to discuss the campaign; online resources were also set up to share thoughts and schedules.

With the creation of a ‘one size fits all’ advert, the hope is that other regions will be able to join in and maintain the momentum, spreading the wonderful message of care across the UK. The ad has been viewed across social media channels, including LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, in order to reach as many people as possible. BBC Shropshire has covered the story and the hashtag #loveyourlocalhospice has been tweeted over a hundred times. The campaign also has its own specially designed microsite which went live a few days before the ad was broadcast on television, which you can check out here. An online interactive map will enable anyone to easily locate their nearest hospice.

It costs approximately £80 million for hospices across the West Midlands to provide their wide range of services. While donations are welcome, the key goal of the appeal is to raise awareness and re-assert the West Midlands hospices as a collective, strong unit. The ad’s call for ‘love’, ‘support’ and ‘family’ underpins the hospice care philosophy and is representative of a movement in which thousands of dedicated staff and volunteers work every day to help make a difference to so many patients and their families across the UK.