British charity TV ads crank up humanism and harsh reality of life

If you’d asked me what the British Red Cross does (as ignorant as this next bit may sound) I probably couldn’t have told you specifically. I knew it supported disaster-struck countries outside of the UK, but was I aware that the charity helped closer to home, and specifically in times of a crisis? Was I even sure what type of incident counts as a crisis…no, not really.

Two weeks ago the charity launched a nationwide campaign to increase reach and drive public awareness – targeting people like me who don’t really know that much about what it does.

But now, thanks to the charity’s new hard-hitting TV ad I have a far clearer understanding of A, some of what the British Red Cross does and B, what constitutes a crisis.

If you haven’t watched the ad yet, you should do so now:

Image taken from the British Red Cross website

The eerie scenery and haunting girl are both captivating and have an almost hypnotic effect on the viewer, well on me at least. By giving crisis a human form, you begin to view incidents like being unable to collect a prescription or do the food shopping, far more seriously. It reminds us that a crisis can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The ad makes you understand the importance of the work the British Red Cross does, and that it supports people close to home as well as abroad.


The ad for British Red Cross is the latest in a serious of charity TV campaigns which are taking a more hard hitting, raw approach.

Image taken from the St. Johns ambulance website

Another example is the new ad for St John’s Ambulance, which follows the journey of a man diagnosed with cancer who undergoes treatment and survives, only to die as a result of choking because no one knows the basic first aid that could have saved his life. The use of an everyday family and this explicit view of cancer is incredibly affecting, and reminds the viewer just how precious life is; how in a single moment ours lives can change forever.

For those who say the advertising industry contributes little of good to our society, I’d say think again.