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Hear Zara's Story From Inside The Womb In BHF Spot



Grey London creates amazing CGI ad for the British Heart Foundation

Hear Zara's Story From Inside The Womb In BHF Spot

Grey London and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) today unveil the final work of their six-year partnership: a campaign to highlight the importance of urgent research into inherited heart conditions. The campaign revolves around a TV spot, shot by Chris Milk, that uses CGI to ‘film’ the testimonial of an unborn baby who may have inherited a heart condition. 

The BHF estimates around half a million people in the UK could be living with a faulty gene putting them at unusually high risk of developing heart disease or dying suddenly at a young age. This deadly legacy can span generations – someone living with an inherited heart condition has a 50:50 chance of passing it onto their children.

The campaign spans television, online, cinema, print and PR, and tells the story of baby Zara.  In 2010, Zara’s mum, Caroline, discovered that she had a faulty gene that could cause a heart condition that can lead to sudden death. Caroline knew there was a 50:50 chance it could be passed onto Zara.

Grey elected to make Zara the ad’s narrator – before she was even born. Based on her mother’s 40 week 4D ultrasound, the agency tasked VFX and digital production company Digital Domain (well-known for its work on movies including Iron Man 3, the Transformers series and Titanic) with creating a CGI version of Zara in the womb, who tells the story of the faulty gene she may well have inherited.

Vicki Maguire, deputy ECD, Grey London, says: “No matter what your message, it’s got to have cut-through; it has to resonate. What more powerful way of educating people of the risks of inherited heart conditions than via an unborn baby with a 50% chance of having a faulty gene that could affect her for the rest of her life. That’s more poignant than a testimonial from a doctor could ever be.

“The craft and technique that Digital Domain and Chris Milk put into making the ad was amazing, and the end result looks so brilliantly life-like that we hope people will walk away from it questioning whether it’s real or not.” 

Chris Milk adds: 'I wanted to create a sincere and simple piece of film. Forging a deeply emotional connection with girl who needs saving even before she is born. The story is told in a world that is familiar but still a mystery. She’s invited us in because she has something to say. Something vital.

Zara was born last month, but her parents still don’t know whether she has the faulty gene or not. She’ll continue to be monitored throughout her childhood.

Nick Radmore, Interim Programme Director for Marketing and Communications at the BHF said: “Our new campaign drives home the message that we urgently need to accelerate research into inherited heart conditions. Pinpointing the genes which cause these conditions can mean the difference between life and death. The incredible cutting-edge effects used to bring baby Zara to life will capture viewers’ attention and crucially could help save many lives in the future.”

The ad was directed by Chris Milk (well known for his music videos and interactive work including, most recently, The Wilderness Downtown interactive experience for Arcade Fire) and created by Lex Down and Clemmie Telford. Vicki Maguire was creative director.


Creative Director: Vicki Maguire

Copywriter: Clemmie Telford

Art director: Lex Down

Managing Partner:  Sarah Jenkins

Business Director:  Eve Bulley

Account Manager:  Grant Paterson

Account Executive:  Isaac Hickinbottom

Agency producer: Vanessa Butcher

Creative producer: Gemma Hose

Planner:  Ruth Chadwick

Media agency:  PHD London

Media planner:  Monica Majumdar

Production company: RadicalMedia

Director: Chris Milk

VFX: Digital Domain

VFX Supervisor: Janelle Croshaw

Editor: Logan Hefflefinger

Producer: Ben Schneider/Samantha Storr

Post-production: Digital Domain

Soundtrack composer: Vampire Weekend

Audio post-production: Grand Central

Sound Designers: Munzie Thind & Ben Leeves

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Grey, Mon, 12 May 2014 11:03:22 GMT