Colenso gets emotional for St John

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Here For Life is St John’s new brand positioning. And an emotional new TVC from Colenso BBDO and Thick as Thieves begins to establish and give meaning to it. The commercial features Haylee Wrenn from Hawkes Bady, whose life was saved by St John after she suffered a cardiac arrest.

But rather than simply focus on the life-saving event itself, the ad highlights the little treasured life moments she and her daughter, Olivia, have had since.

“When we think about saving a life, we recognise it’s much more than just saving a beating heart,” said St John commercial director Peter Loveridge. “It’s also saving a family, friendships, a workmate, future experiences and potential. A life is an extraordinarily big thing.”

So why the need to advertise? Well, simply because many New Zealanders don’t realise that their only national ambulance service is a charity and only partially funded by the Government. St John relies on donations and volunteers to maintain and improve their services in the face of ever-increasing demand.

Steve Cochran, ECD at Colenso BBDO said: “When we presented this approach several months ago we only had hypothetical scripts. Naturally we did wonder how authentic and emotional a story we might be able to capture. But Haylee’s story and her family’s openness and willingness to help blew us away. There have been a few tears shed in the making of this one.”

Haylee says she just wanted to share her story to help others appreciate St John, without having to have their own heart stop.

During the filming of the ad Haylee reconnected with the paramedics who saved her which added even more poignancy to the production.

Director Michelle Savill shot the ad in the Wrenn’s family home and features genuine details of their lives, including their two rescued dogs. Twelve-year-old daughter Olivia provided the voiceover.

The TVC begins running this week as 60 and 30 second TVCs. With an appeal ad also produced for the St John Annual Appeal in April.



Executive Creative Director: Steve Cochran
Senior Art Director: Kristal Knight
Copywriter: Hannah Habgood
Account Director: Victoria Graves

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