Samaritans is to launch a new fundraising TV campaign on Monday 16 November, appealing for viewers to make a regular £3 monthly donation.
Samaritans is contacted more than 5 million times every year via its telephone, email and text helpline services. Funds raised from the appeal will allow the charity to reach out to more people in distress, ultimately reducing the number of people who die by suicide.
The advert will be broadcast on 10 digital TV channels – More4, ITV3, ITV4, Fiver, Gold, Yesterday, Blighty, FiveUSA, Alibi and Eden until Monday 30 November. The advert will be repeated on the same channels from Saturday 26 December to Thursday 31 December, delivering 15.8 million impacts and reaching a total audience of 5 million.
Creative agency Arthur London has produced the 60-second advert for the charity.
The advert features a character called Lisa, a young woman who has experienced a lifetime of abuse and is extremely distressed, but finds the strength to phone Samaritans. The advert closes with Lisa looking more positive having made the call to Samaritans, emphasising that she has taken an important first step in rebuilding her life.
Arthur secured recently graduated drama school actress Emelia Clarke to play the lead role. Samaritans volunteer and well-known actress Janet Dibley who has starred in The Two of Us, Fat Friends and Eastenders provided the voiceover without any fee.
In addition, a series of emotive ‘Portrait’ films were produced to extend the campaign online and demonstrate the range of people who use Samaritans’ services. The aims of the portrait films are threefold: a call to action for the audience to make a donation to the charity; to encourage people to share the videos creating a viral effect; and to encourage traffic to the campaign pages on Samaritans website, where the TV advert can be viewed. The charity is also working with media agency, Mindshare, to secure free advertising space across a variety of media which may include billboards and radio stations.
Lorna Robertson-Reed, Samaritans’ Head of Individual Giving, said: “The charity is contacted every six seconds by someone in emotional distress, with one in every 10 calls being linked to the financial crisis. In order to maintain a 24:7 service we need to raise more than £10 million a year and that is why this advert is an important step in securing more funds so that we are here for the people who need us in these difficult times.”