Marie Curie "Whatever you call it"

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New campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi London and Marie Curie breaks the taboo of talking about death

New campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi London and Marie Curie breaks the taboo of talking about death

LONDON: 4rd November. Saatchi & Saatchi London has produced a new campaign for the charity Marie Curie which aims to highlight the way people avoid talking about death and dying by using euphemisms and encourage more people to start a conversation.

Most people aren’t comfortable thinking or talking about dying, and the new campaign, ‘Whatever you call it’ uses a series of animations that highlight the many euphemisms (such as Kick the bucket, Pop your clogs and Meet your maker) people use instead of talking about death.

The campaign goes live on 3rd November 2019 across TV, radio, social and PR. Opticomm has been responsible for booking media and eight&four has supported with further digital amplification.

Dan Treichel, Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi London said: “As a culture, we avoid talking about death so much that we invent really creative euphemisms to avoid saying the D-word. This seemingly endless list felt like a really interesting way to get people talking and planning for when they ‘meet their maker’.”

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of Marie Curie said: “When we are bereaved we can experience avoidable regret, guilt, confusion, family conflict, and negative financial and legal impacts.

“While most of us say we are comfortable having these conversations, the reality is that many of us are not making any preparations as it feels a long way off or something that will cause unnecessary upset both for us and the people around us.

“But we need to plan more for the end of life, while there is still time to do so. Having these conversations early can be easier than having them when we, or someone we love, is dying.

“At Marie Curie we have been caring for people at the end of life for over 70 years. With our expertise and experience we have developed some wonderful resources to help people start these important conversations.”

Production was by Moth Animation and media is by Opticomm.

The new campaign is under-pinned by Marie Curie’s new online resource, Talkabout ( Talkabout brings together a wealth of materials to help people plan for the end of life, wherever they are in the process, including free conversation starter cards, checklists and inspiring articles and engaging videos. It will also include a series of thought-provoking podcasts with well-known guests.

The campaign is one of the biggest initiatives conducted urging people to plan for end of life.

Marie Curie has warned that our reluctance to think or talk about dying and death means many of us feel deeply unprepared and distressed when facing the end of life, either for ourselves or our loved ones. The negative effects of not preparing for the end of life will be felt by more people as the number of people dying is set to increase sharply over the next 10 years.

New research commissioned by Marie Curie found that not being aware of someone’s final wishes, left those bereaved finding it difficult to cope with emotional wellbeing, financial matters, funeral arrangements and other issues as a result.

A quarter of people (26%) surveyed who weren’t aware of all of their loved ones’ final wishes experienced regret over unresolved feelings or things left unsaid, whilst one in five (20%) people were left feeling unsure if the funeral was what the person would have wanted. People also experienced family disagreements (18%) and second guessing or confusion (19%) after the death of someone close to them when they didn’t know their wishes.

The research shows that while most people would be comfortable talking about their own end of life wishes (82%) or those of their loved ones (70%), very few have actually had this conversation (36%) or made any preparations (25%).

As the UK’s leading charity for people living with a terminal illness, Marie Curie has been caring for people at the end of their life for over 70 years. This week, the charity has launched the biggest ever public campaign to get people thinking, talking and planning for the end of life. Marie Curie is also providing conversations cards, checklists and advice to help get people talking about and preparing for death.

For more information, please contact Liz Ensor, Senior Media & PR Manager at Marie Curie

About Saatchi & Saatchi London

Saatchi & Saatchi London is built on our belief, that Nothing is Impossible. This spirit is brought to bear on transformative work for clients including Procter & Gamble, HSBC, EE, Expedia, Kerry Foods and Visa.

The Saatchi & Saatchi network unites 114 offices in 67 countries and 6,500 people. Saatchi & Saatchi London is part of the Publicis Groupe. For more information, visit

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