As Life’s Events Remain on Hold, This Ad Is a Reminder That Needed Hospice Care Continues

U.K. nonprofit Marie Curie launches campaign to aid fundraising

Events may be on hold, but the important work of hospice care continues. Marie Curie

Even as COVID-19 claims the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world, many people are still dying of other conditions—and they need continued care.

That is the message of a poignant pro-bono campaign for British nonprofit hospice group Marie Curie, created by Saatchi & Saatchi.

The spot, called “On Hold”, shows a series of empty spaces that would usually be bustling with human life if it weren’t for lockdown: an empty theatre, a desolate beach, a wedding venue, a festival field, a marathon route and an empty soccer stadium.

Narrated by Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter and set to the track “Another Love” by Tom Odell, the music stops to give way to the message: “Not everything is on hold.”

The spot then pivots to a video recording shot by a real woman in her home who is dying of cancer.

“Hello, my name is Lin, and I have terminal cancer. I don’t know how many weeks I have left”, she says to the camera.

Marie Curie, named after the scientist who discovered pioneering cancer treatments, provides end of life care to thousands of people in the U.K. each year and relies on charitable donations. However, it says the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted its usual fundraising methods.

The campaign was created in less than a week by a team working remotely and will run on social media, on radio and in newspapers and magazines this week.

Saatchi & Saatchi is also calling on advertisers and media owners to donate media space that is unused due to the coronavirus to promote the campaign—and told Adweek it hopes the spot will run on TV.

“Thousands of people are potentially spending their last days in lockdown. Marie Curie urgently needs funds to carry on being there to support them, and the National Health Service, on the front line,” said Guillermo Vega, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi London.

“We’re proud to use our creativity for such a vital appeal and proud of everyone working together remotely to make it happen.”


Chief Creative Officer: Guillermo Vega
Executive Creative Director: Dan Treichel
Copywriters: Ryan Price, Sarah Heavens
Art Director/Designer: Maria Suarez-Inclan
Producer: Rebecca Williams
Offline Editor: Henrik Sikstrom
Audio Post Production: Michael Powell, Prodigious
Post Production: Prodigious.
Colorist: Matty Lee-Redman
Online: Cameron Place
Voice Over: Jim Carter and Lin Dalton
Music: Tom Odell, with huge thanks to Sony Music / Warner Chappell
Stock Footage c/o: Getty and Shutterstock
Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer: Richard Huntington
Planner: Rui Ferreira
Business Lead: Adrian Ash
Account Manager: Cassie Allen

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.