Alternative Christmas ad released by charity

Digital ad in aid of children’s charity hospice Shooting Star Chase reminds audiences of the true meaning of Christmas

Austin Clark | 8th Nov 17

Speculation on what the major retailers will be creating for this year’s Christmas advert has been brewing for months, but social change company, Shape History – in aid of children’s charity hospice Shooting Star Chase – is reminding audiences of the true meaning of Christmas.

Through the release of a poignant, emotional and moving film, the agency has stripped the theme of the festive period back to the fundamentals of family, and in the process, are providing a platform for the hundreds of people across the UK who will be spending their first Christmas this year without a loved one.

The digital ad can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube.

“Our organisation recently lost a friend at 21 years old due to cancer and having discussed it with those around us, we really wanted to try and support families who are going through something similar,” said Mike Buonaiuto, Executive Director of Shape History.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for those who may no longer have their loved ones around. Retailers are annually pumping budgets of millions into Christmas advertising and it can distract away from the true meaning of the festive period. We wanted to essentially hijack that and remind the British public that the festive period is about looking out for the most vulnerable in society and being there for your nearest and dearest.”

The film explores the themes of bereavement and the effect of personal loss through the story of a heartbroken father, struggling to come to terms with the passing of his son due to Cancer. As the rest of the family attempt to support each other on the run up to their first Christmas without their son and brother, we see the impact of a family coping with grief and ultimately, how they come together.

Adam Petrie, Director of Communications and Marketing at Shooting Star Chase commented: “Shooting Star Chase exists to make every moment count by offering the very best care from diagnosis to end of life and in bereavement. Christmas is a time where family is so important and therefore can be particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one.

“As well as supporting families through the heart-breaking moments no parent should ever have to experience, we also create moments families will cherish forever and we hope this campaign will raise awareness of our vital work and encourage people to help us provide memories that are precious and unforgettable.”

The film is raising money for the charity Shooting Star Chase, directing audiences to a donate page, which will see all proceeds going to the running of their two hospices. Matthias sadly passed away on 23rd December, 2011, but by lending their support to the film, the Barker family are reminding the nation and those going through similar experiences that they are not alone.