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Former RKCR/Y&R Team Support ex-Colleague on Poignant Ovarian Cancer Action Spot

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Defiant charity ad backed by Kate Winslet and Birdy demands the next generation of girls ‘Will Survive’

Former RKCR/Y&R Team Support ex-Colleague on Poignant Ovarian Cancer Action Spot
Today, Ovarian Cancer Action launch a defiant new campaign 'I Will Survive', aiming to support the next generation of women. Former RKCR/Y&R managing director Vicky Jacobs (VJ), who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer six years ago, had the idea for the campaign when she met Ovarian Cancer Action’s CEO, Cary Wakefield. After being diagnosed, the former advertising executive made it her mission to change the survival odds for the next generation.

With one woman dying of ovarian cancer every two hours in the UK, the charity hopes the campaign will help to put the disease in the spotlight and highlight the important need for research. Today’s generation of women are benefiting from new treatments thanks to research investment in decades gone by. The campaign aim is to keep up that momentum to benefit generations to come. 

Ovarian Cancer Action’s CEO, Cary Wakefield comments: “It was in the first few weeks of my new role that I met VJ and this campaign idea was the first thing we talked about. For many years, ovarian cancer has been overlooked and underfunded but we really can change this. So many people have helped us bring this campaign to life and hopefully this is just the start of something really powerful.”


The 60-second spot directed by Joanna Bailey features a number of young girls reciting lines from Gloria Gaynor’s iconic track ‘I Will Survive’. As the girls tell the audience in spoken word that ‘I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give’, their voices begin to blend with a re-recorded version of Gaynor’s hit, performed by UK singer-songwriter, Birdy.

Birdy said: “I feel so honoured to be a part of this film for Ovarian Cancer Action and was particularly shocked by how little I knew about the disease. It’s vital that we work together to learn and understand the symptoms and where possible, help fund ovarian cancer research. We can make things better for the next generation.”

Oscar-winner Kate Winslet has also thrown her support behind the emotional new campaign in order to raise awareness and fund research into the UK’s deadliest gynaecological disease. Winslet who lost her own mother to ovarian cancer, voiced the spot. 

Kate Winslet, said: “Having lost our mum to ovarian cancer in 2017, as a family we have first-hand experience of the awful loss that comes with this terrible disease. Early screening and further research is invaluable. Raising awareness as well as funds, becomes immediately empowering to women and girls, whilst at the same time giving genuine hope for a brighter future and cancer free lives.”

Pip Bishop, creative on the campaign said: “It’s very difficult to say no to Vicky, so when she asked Chris Hodgkiss and I to come on board we jumped at the chance. We’ve been truly humbled by the number of industry people who’ve given us hours, weeks and sometimes months of their time for nothing.”

Jody Allison, friend and former colleague of Vicky’s, and now founder and producer at Heads Up Production, comments: “It really was wonderful to see how many of the industry’s most talented individuals stepped in to be a part of this project and support Vicky. This is a cause so close to her, her family and us all, and we hope that this ad can help raise funds to create a significant difference for the research and treatment of ovarian cancer.”

Joanna Bailey, Director at Snapper Films, says of the execution: “The song is so well known yet we wanted the words to feel generated by the girls themselves, not practised or delivered in a way that sounded learnt. So, while it was a little unnerving, we didn’t tell the girls about the song beforehand, and then worked with them to get the sort of honest performances we all wanted”.

The campaign was developed by a unique team of former RKCR/Y&R colleagues and is a testament to the generous and talented people in the advertising industry and beyond. The media planning strategy was devised by UM UK and creative PR agency Taylor Herring have led the media relations campaign. The campaign launches across various media platforms including Hearst, Ad Media and Sky and Ovarian Cancer Action is hoping that the campaign continues to pick up momentum over the next 12 months.

The multi-media campaign will feature across TV, press, out of home and online across outlets including Hearst, Ad Media and Sky.
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Client: Ovarian Cancer Action

Production Agency: Heads Up Production

Agency Producer: Jody Allison, Tim Page, Phoebe Fleming

Executive Creative Director: Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss

Creatives: Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss

Account handling: Vicky Jacobs, Siobhan Woodrow and Nick Fokes

Strategist: Emily James

Production Company: Snapper Films

Director: Joanna Bailey

Executive Producer: Brock van den Bogaerde

Producer: Rosie Pike

DOP: Ben Smithard

Editor: Sam Gunn of Whitehouse Post

Colourist: Seamus O’Kane @ The Mill

Post Production Company: MPC - Producer Saskia Delius

Sound Company: Parv at Wave Studios

Re-Recording: Fred and Dan @ Native Music

Music Publishing: Universal (sourced via Dan Neale, Native Music)

Vocalist: Birdy

Voice Over: Kate Winslet (secured via Catriona Blampied, Procure Worldwide)

Designer (Print): Tivy Davies

Photographer (Print/Posters): Nick Dolding

Media Planning and buying: UM UK

Beano digital asset development: Josh Cunningham, Vicky Lench, Lucy Sutton, Amy Garrett and Louisa Sorensen

Public relations: Taylor Herring

Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Heads Up Production, Tue, 29 Oct 2019 10:41:00 GMT