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NHS recruitment campaign lays bare real lives of its frontline workers

NHS England has launched a new recruitment campaign, created by MullenLowe Group UK, that aims to give would-be nurses, doctors and paramedics a real view of the health service's life-saving work.

The work builds upon the previous ’We are the NHS’ campaign, launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, which contributed to a 35% year-on-year increase in nursing applications. The new creative aims to emphasize the everyday work and smaller – but no less important – highs and lows experienced when working for the health service, rather than heroic images of self-sacrifice.

In ’Live 1000 Lives’, a voiceover tells viewers that ’I have lived 1,000 lives. I am every one of them, and they are me,’ as a montage shows the work of midwives, social care staff and other NHS workers.

The ad illustrates the common experiences of medical staff and patients, as they share both in the success of recovery and moments of loss. Showing amputees recovery to regain their athleticism, operating theatres in the thick of surgery and care patients rediscovering family history, the ad goes on: ’I have restarted hearts and resuscitated hope. I have been newfound strength, I have been John's second step and the present in someone's past.’

Ewan Paterson, chief creative officer at MullenLowe Group UK said: “We’re delighted and honoured to partner with the NHS for the fourth consecutive year, at a time when recruitment has never been so essential for them. As a result the focus this year has been all about why it’s a uniquely rewarding career. And 'Live 1000 lives' is an idea that dramatises that in an truly inspiring way. Be it being there the moment life begins or when someone takes their first step post trauma, it’s a career like no other.”

This campaign is set to go out across TV, VOD, radio, social, digital display, radio and digital audio channels, as well as online video and CRM. Media is being handed by Mediahub UK, CRM by MullenLowe Profero and media planning and buying by OmniGov.

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