NZ Heart Foundation gives viewers an attention test, shows heart attacks aren’t as dramatic as you think

Barnes, Catmur & Friends seems to have taken a page of the stage magician’s handbook in a new spot for the New Zealand Heart Foundation, which uses cinematic distraction to make its point.

The spot kicks off by posing the question ‘Who gives the most realistic performance of a heart attack?’ before showing a series of people melodramatically acting out what it’s supposedly like to have a heart attack.

After five people give their best impressions of a heart attack, the spot flicks across to text, which says ‘Did you choose the man on the bench? Have another look’, before replaying the ad and drawing emphasis to a person sitting in the background.      

“People expect an outrageous ‘Hollywood’ style heart attack, often mistaking their discomfort for something less life threatening,” says Barnes, Catmur & Friends account manager Kate Antjoule. “We wanted to show people a heart attack is not always as dramatic as you think. There is increasing evidence to show that people are taking too long to seek medical attention when they have symptoms, and in many cases they don’t even realise what those symptoms are until it’s too late.”

Antjoule says research shows many of the annual deaths caused by heart problems could be avoided if Kiwis visited a doctor when the symptoms emerged.   

“More than 10,00 people die of Cardio Vascular disease each year, and some 6500 die of Heart Disease more specifically. About half of those deaths are thought to be premature, and possibly preventable.”  

The latest creative approach is a significant change in direction for the Heart Foundation, which earlier this year released a TVC that personified heart disease as a faceless killer who chose its victims at random.

And on the loosely related note, here are a few other videos that also employ cinematic sleight of hand:



Barnes, Catmur & Friends
ECD: Paul Catmur
Creative: Katyana O’Neil
Creative: Renee Warner
Account Manager: Kate Antjoule
Agency Producer: Shayna Stalker

Flying Fish
Exec Producer: James Moore
Producer: Leela Menon
Director: James Solomon
D.O.P: Alexander Robert Jenkins
Art Director: Richard Cooke
Production Manager: Morgan Leigh Stewart
Offline Editor: Alex O’Shaughnessy

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