Manulife Singapore has launched its latest campaign, ‘Stop The Drama’, to help educate people about the subtle warning signs of real-life heart attacks. It follows a recent Manulife Heart Health Survey, with over 500 respondents, which revealed that the lack of awareness around warning signs and risk factors is still dangerously high among Singaporeans.
“We have learnt through our partnership with the Singapore Heart Foundation that when a heart attack happens, the faster we can get the person to medical help, the higher the chances of survival,” said Kwek-Perroy Li Choo, chief customer officer of Manulife Singapore. “With this campaign, we hope to raise awareness on how to identify when someone may be having a heart attack, and what to do in response to it.”
Stop The Drama was created by TBWA\Singapore, working closely with Singapore Heart Foundation. The campaign launched with a teaser video on social media, exposing just how prevalent misconceptions around heart attack symptoms are amongst the general public.
“TV shows and movies have taught us to recognise dramatic symptoms of a heart attack,” said Professor Carolyn Lam, senior consultant, Department of Cardiology and director of Women’s Heart Health, at National Heart Centre Singapore. “The problem is, people then miss the warning symptoms of an early heart attack, which are almost always milder. And that could cost lives.”
The teaser is followed by an acting masterclass starring well-renowned veteran actor, Lim Kay Tong, emphasizing the importance of authenticity in performance, and the responsibility of actors to portray the truth. The masterclass film, featuring five promising young Singaporean actors, is also used as a vehicle to educate viewers on the early and less-known signs of heart attacks, including light-headedness, shortness of breath, sweating, tingling in the arm, jaw ache, neck ache, and back pain.
“It’s clear that culture is shaping the way we think about heart attacks, preventing us from spotting the early warning signs and acting fast enough to save lives,” said Hagan de Villiers, executive creative director at TBWA\Singapore. “That's why we want to change culture from the inside out, and challenge a long-held and dangerously unquestioned stereotype in the movie industry.”
Lim Kay Tong’s personal experiences lend weight to the initiative as he discusses, in an exclusive interview, how his wife was lucky to survive what could have been a deadly heart attack by recognising early symptoms of artery blockage.
The campaign forms part of Manulife’s overarching focus to be a trusted health partner, helping customers establish long-term healthy lifestyle habits and rewarding them for staying active.
“Two years ago, we put our employees through CPR trainings to equip them to help victims of heart attack on the streets before an ambulance arrives,” added Kwek-Perroy Li Choo. “Over time, we hope by doing more education, we can raise the survival rate of heart attack victims in Singapore.”
Since the launch of the campaign, artists and directors from Asia have joined a growing movement, called #stopthedramanow. On World Theatre Day (March 27), they will pledge on social media to only portray authentic heart attack symptoms in their future projects - a rallying cry that they hope will inspire their colleagues across the globe to do the same.