Pneumonia is one of the biggest killers of over 50s across Europe. A vaccination for the disease is something that this demographic should be seeking out from their doctors but how do we make that story in a positive, emotional way that is shareable but informative.
The story would need to be newsworthy and drive the audience to enquire more into the solution but as this was a piece of marketing for the pharmaceutical industry it also needs to be extremely conservative with promoting any particular drug.
The piece would need to work in countries across Europe and must feel as though it is representative of the diversity of Europe.
The idea centred around challenging a sense that many older people have that they are a drain on society and their families. The film starts with a series of statements made by older people talking about the challenges of ageing, the physical struggle, the feeling of becoming a burden and of being out of touch.
Then we introduce the grandchild of the individual. They give us their view of their grandparent: they tell us how inspiring, important and influential they have been in their lives. It is from this emotional point that we find the heart of film – grandparents are actually heroes to their grandchildren and we should do all we can to protect them.
The film ends with the information that pneumonia is one of the biggest killers of the older generation and that a vaccination can help lower the likelihood of them being infected.
The most challenging problem with a project like this was casting. We needed to find emotional stories, without losing that genuine moment of realisation when the grandchild and grandparent were interviewed together on camera. To do this we organised a prolonged period of casting, researching and meeting over 100 different families with a broad range of cultural backgrounds.
Without revealing the precise motivations or narrative of the story, we spent time with each person discovering the hidden stories and feelings they had about ageing and about their grandparents.
The piece has been released in over twenty countries across Europe and has received over 3 millions combined views.