British Heart Foundation kicks off research-focused marketing

The British Heart Foundation is launching its first campaign since revamping its marketing strategy to focus on research with the aim of raising money to fund research into congenital heart defects.

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The “Bag It. Beat It” campaign, which launches today (27 August), asks people to send bags of unwanted goods to the BHF’s shops to raise money for research. The charity claims that heart problems are the most common birth defect, affecting 85 children every week, more than for limb, facial and respiratory defects.
The launch of the new campaign coincides with the start of the new school year next week, when the BHF estimates that 4,000 children with congenital heart defects will start school. A further 400 children will have died before reaching school age.
The BHF has previously hoped to raise awareness of hereditary heart disease through a TV campaign. The aim now is to raise money to fund research that will help more children survive with a heart defect and improve their quality of life.
The new campaign will be fronted by Daniel, a 10-year-old from Surrey who was born with a hole in his heart and received life-saving open-heart surgery to fix the defect. It will run on radio, in print and in digital, including on social media.
Previous research breakthroughs funded by the BHF have already helped reduced the number of children dying from heart defects by 80 per cent in the last 30 years, the charity says. The BHF hopes new funding will help researchers learn more about a gene that has been associated with holes in the heart and could lead to prevention or treatment.
The BHF recently revamped its marketing strategy to focus on research and communicating its role in beating heart disease. It also hired Carolan Davidge from Cancer Research UK as its first marketing and engagement director.

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