National Heart Foundation hunts creative agency to bring back 'fear factor'

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 5 July 2018
Chris Taylor

The National Heart Foundation is about to commence a pitch process to find a new creative agency.

The not-for-profit organisation aims to relaunch the brand before the end of the year via an integrated campaign.

The move follows the CMO hire of former Visa and MasterCard marketer and ex-head of marketing for WooliesX, Chris Taylor, in March.

Taylor says the desire for a creative agency is part of its new consolidated marketing strategy as the not-for-profit organisation seeks to focus resources, in order to achieve its vision of an Australia free of heart disease.

“Over the last five years, the charity sector has become highly competitive and more sophisticated in its marketing approach and we are facing greater competition from smaller heart charities,” Taylor says.

“At the same time, we’ve not invested in our brand, which has impacted brand health.”

The proposed campaign will be the Heart Foundation’s first brand push and the first significant health campaign since the successful ‘Warning Signs’ promo that ended in 2012.

Taylor admits that a lack of a national marketing strategy has led to a focus on short-term tactical activations, meaning its messages have become complex and highly fragmented.

As such, it is looking for a brand and creative agency partner to support in the evolution of its overall marketing strategy and creative direction.

Bring back 'fear factor'

“Our aim is to focus on fewer well-targeted opportunities while maximising the impact and scale of our activities,” Taylor explains.

“The key objective of the agency partnership is to develop a compelling and differentiated brand positioning and a robust creative platform from which to develop engaging health and fund-raising campaigns.

“The creative platform will also serve to galvanise our extensive base of Influencers and attract corporate partners through the creation of a more robust strategy and creative platforms.”

As Taylor helps to spearhead changes across the marketing function, his immediate marketing plans are to build a high performing/commercially focused marketing team to meet the objectives of its three-year 'One Heart’ strategic plan.

“This focuses on prevention, support and care and our research program,” Taylor says.

“We also have plans to evolve our digital assets to deliver a data driven, connected and personalised customer experience.”

Taylor says in Australia in recent years, heart disease has “lost its fear factor” and isn’t on most Australians’ radar.

“Our standing as an organisation is challenged by a public perception that heart disease and related issues are a problem of the past,” he says.

“Unfortunately, many people also believe heart disease is simply the result of poor lifestyle choice and that it happens to other people. What they don’t realise is that it can strike at any time, and that the healthy, fit and active are not immune.”

Taylor says it is important that the selected agency partner is able to show an understanding of Australian attitudes towards health and how to instil lifestyle behaviour changes.

“The selected agency partner will become a long term strategic ally, helping guide us through an exciting period of brand development and challenging our thinking to continually drive innovation and creativity,” Taylor says.

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