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NHS creates dramatic small ailment movie reactions to drive pharmacy visits

To encourage more people to count on their pharmacist before consulting their GP, the National Health Service (NHS) has commissioned a humourous ad that pokes fun at overreactions to small ailments.

Taking a leaf out of exaggerated over-blown movies reactions, 'Help Us, Help You - Get It Seen To' flicks through various movie genres - horror, romcom, and action - as a way to raise awareness of the availability of the free, private and confidential consultations that high street chemists offer.

Created by M&C Saatchi, the spot opens in a cinema, with two pals enjoying a movie, until one suffers pain in her left ear. Alarmed, her friend stands up and screams to the audience: "Is there a pharmacist??" - alluding to the famous 'Is there a doctor?'

In the next scene, a cute date comes to a dramatic end, as a red mark emerges on 'George's' eye. "My date George, he needs a pharmacist," his date cries out to the startled room, to which he replies, "it's Greg."

In the final scene, a father is seen looking after his child while doing a spot of gardening. He panics when he hears her cough, and in the style of action movies, hurtles towards her, picks her up and shouts upwards "I need a pharmacist!"

All the humourous blockbuster-esque scenes convey the message that people should make their local pharmacy their first port of call for medical advice on minor health issues such as coughs, colds, tummy trouble, aches, and pains.

It is part of a wider 'Help Us, Help You' campaign, which is in its third year. The campaign promotes the importance of people taking personal responsibility for their health.

Phil Bastable, head of marketing at NHS England: “This phase of the Help Us, Help You campaign is a really important one. Community pharmacists are invaluable NHS experts, often underutilised because not everybody understands how qualified they are to help. This year we’re asking the public to ‘take the drama out of minor illnesses’ with an exciting new campaign creative, that we hope will really cut through and change behaviour.”

Mark Goodwin, deputy joint executive director at M&C Saatchi: ‘Pharmacists are the unsung heroes of our medical services. So it’s great to give them a starring role as frontline experts.’

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