The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

Heart to heart

Heart to heart

Despite the high visibility of women’s cancers in cause marketing, heart disease is the number one killer of women over 55. It’s one of those health issues that seems to fly under the radar until a high-profile case enters our consciousness.

That was what happened during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, when Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette lost her mother to heart disease just two days before she was scheduled to compete. Joannie went on anyway, in honour of her mother, and earned a Bronze Medal as well as achieving a personal best.

Joannie continues to campaign for women’s heart health, and today her “” campaign to raise awareness and funds is online.

The call-to-action of the campaign is to visit the “” site where you can either donate or raise funds via Facebook.

Some facts on heart disease in women:

• Heart disease is the #1 killer of women aged 55 or older
• Women of all ages represent 50% of heart disease deaths in Canada
• In 2005, more than 25,000 Canadian women died from heart disease
• More than one-third of women aged 45 and over have high blood pressure
• Heart disease risk in women increases with age and the onset of menopause
• Heart attack is not uncommon in women in their 30s
• Women’s heart attack symptoms can include unusual fatigue, trouble sleeping, indigestion and anxiety up to one month before a heart attack

I should add, as full disclosure, that this is my agency’s own work. We were contacted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute just two weeks ago with this opportunity, and have been fast-tracking this campaign ever since. Joannie was in Ottawa only for a couple of hours last Saturday, and we had to film the whole spot around her. The result is a fairly straightforward Mother’s Day appeal that puts Joannie’s tragedy in context — it could happen to anyone’s mom.

In addition to the YouTube video and campaign site, we placed paid advertising on Facebook and other targeted sites.

University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Acart Communications
Change Marketing

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more