Larger-than-life murals honour young football fans lost to heart disease

Led by Saatchi & Saatchi, this ad campaign for the British Heart Foundation leverages Euros excitement to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death.

As the excitement builds for the kickoff of the UEFA Euros 2024 this weekend, an arresting new advertising campaign, titled ‘Til I Died, is casting a sombre light on the devastating impact of heart disease on young people in the UK.

It comes from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), a cardiovascular research charity in the UK that funds medical research related to heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors and runs influencing work aimed at shaping public policy and raising awareness.

The BHF has teamed up with creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi to launch ‘Til I Died, a nationwide mural initiative commemorating the lives of 12 passionate young football fans whose dreams were cut tragically short by heart conditions.

At its core lies a sobering statistic: on average, 12 young lives are tragically lost to sudden cardiac death every single week in the UK.

Vivid portraits

The campaign features a dozen larger-than-life murals, each individually hand-painted in towns and cities across the UK, from Birmingham and Cardiff to Glasgow and London.

The striking artworks depict vibrant portraits of 12 young people gone too soon, their smiling faces leaving an indelible mark on the communities where they once lived, played, and aspired.

“There are no words from me that can speak adequately for this work,” says Franki Goodwin, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi. “It was crafted sensitively and respectfully in partnership with our amazing clients and the families of our young people. A huge thank you to them; I hope we raise a ton of money to fund life-saving research.”

The BHF’s broader mission is to shift public perception, as many remain unaware that heart conditions can strike anyone at any age.

Euros tie-in

The poignant murals, now on display in highly visible locations in nine cities, were created by renowned mural artists in conjunction with out-of-home production agency Grand Visual. Their prominent placement was strategically planned by media agency PHD to maximise visibility in the young fans’ hometowns during the run-up to the Euros.

By launching days before the start of the UEFA Euros 2024, the creative work aims to highlight the young people and their love for football at a time when the nation is excited to see their country play.

In addition to the murals, the integrated ‘Til I Died campaign will extend across social media and radio, with bespoke creative executions further amplifying the urgent need for research funding to battle heart disease in all ages.

Powerful reminder

“Our new campaign is a powerful reminder of the impact of sudden cardiac death,” says Damion Mower, director of brand at the British Heart Foundation. “Behind every mural is a family who have lost a loved one too soon, and our teams have worked closely and sensitively with them to ensure their relatives are remembered in a touching way.”

“We thank our creative partners at Saatchi for their sensitivity and care in portraying the stories through the campaign creatives,” he adds. “We are truly thankful to the families who have agreed to remember their loved ones and help us urgently raise awareness and funds towards research into heart and circulatory diseases.”

The hope is that this sobering campaign will inspire support and donations for further research into preventative treatments and cures. Because while every premature death is a tragedy, the harrowing loss of a young life with boundless potential yet unfulfilled is a particularly cruel blow, one this campaign is determined to raise awareness of through its powerful creative concept and emotive storytelling.

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