‘Time For Can’ – A TV led Integrated Creative Campaign for Parkinson’s UK

Integrated Creative Campaign and TV advert

‘Time For Can’ is Parkinson’s UK’s first TV advert for fourteen years. The charity decided now more than ever was the time that they needed to stand out in a crowded market to secure growth in a challenging year where most charities saw donations drop. They needed a new campaign that would help drive this.

Parkinsons UK Time for Can TV commercial STILL

The charity required an idea, led by a TV advert, that could flex across social platforms, newsletters, direct mail-outs and other media. The objective: to increase the nation’s understanding of Parkinson’s and the urgent need for donations to fund more breakthroughs that will one day lead to a cure.

The advert had to help both grow brand awareness and drive donations. It had to reflect people with Parkinson’s struggle, their boldness, the scale of the problem and hero the breakthroughs that have been made, whilst ensuring the key message was one of empowerment.

Market research identified the target audience as relatively young, diverse, smart and social media savvy to be the most likely to increase awareness and donations. The creative had to attract them whilst simultaneously appeal to the existing Parkinson’s community.

There were just over three and a half months to complete the campaign from ideation to launch and on a shoestring budget. Due to covid-19 lockdowns, restrictions on filming and photography, plus the vulnerability of people with Parkinson’s meant that creative production opportunities were limited.

Crafting a story from supplied footage without the ability to shoot anew was the ultimate creative challenge.

The lightning-quick thirty-second film consists entirely of pre-existing footage that Parkinson’s UK had previously produced over the years and genuine user-generated content supplied by the Parkinson’s community.

It is high impact from the start, a multi-layered creative, utilising video footage, bold text, rapid voice-over and dramatic audio.

The film takes viewers on a frenetic journey through the unforgiving reality of the condition, showing what it prevents people from doing, what they can’t do, conveying the panic and anxiety Parkinson’s can inevitably cause. This reveals the staggering fact that Parkinson’s is now the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world, before switching to show the community’s determination in the face of adversity and what can be possible by working together towards the goal of a cure.

Parkinsons UK Time for Can TV commercial STILL

At first, the music and sound effects within the film are intentionally unsettling, the grade desaturated with warm colours muted, transitioning to an ethereal score, with a bright grade and a reverse vignette. Quick punch-ins and glitches were applied to image and text-on-screen to heighten the drama.

The script was developed in tandem to the edit as new archive was found and more user-generated footage from the Parkinson’s community supplied. The community was consulted throughout the edit, ensuring it had integrity and felt true to their experiences. The film features genuine people with Parkinson’s and actual researchers at work. Hundreds of hours of footage were scrutinised to find the most arresting shots to tell the story of both the pain and the hope to find a cure, in just 30 seconds.

The campaign exceeded all expectations. The volume of donations was higher than ever for the charity during the Christmas period; the online conversion rate almost doubled.

The advert had over one million completed paid social views, with online audiences watching the whole film without skipping. Viewers shared it organically over ten times more than Parkinson’s UK’s usual content.

The brand metrics results from the television channels showed the creative over performed all their norms for brand statements.

When shown the film, they were impressed by its modern feel, appreciating the punchy visual style and clarity. Viewers picked up on the key marketing messages of Parkinson’s debilitating effects, Parkinson’s UK’s effort to help those affected and the need to donate to Parkinson’s UK.

The campaign has been an outstanding success and even more so when considering these were at time of such unique challenges.

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