Look Them In The Eyes

30 Second TV (Directed by Simon Ratigan)

As part of the filming for the main ad, Simon talked to patients and NHS staff to help bring the raw emotions to the surface. These were really powerful, and were adapted to become online films.


Another campaign for the NHS and another unbelievably quick turnaround, but one we’re extremely pleased with.

With Covid-19 death rates rising, and hospital admissions putting untold strain on the NHS, it was clear that a more hard-hitting message was needed to persuade people to do all they could to help control the spread of the virus.

News channels were filled with harrowing reports of front line NHS staff doing their best to cope with the mounting challenge of caring for a seemingly never-ending stream of patients. Social media also carried image after image of NHS nurses and doctors showing off the ‘scars’ of wearing masks for hours on end. It was also amazing how much emotion you got from these images despite many of the subjects having all but their eyes covered.

It seemed to us that staying at home, and wearing a mask now and again was a pretty small ask compared to what these people were going through.

So we hit upon the idea of using NHS staff and patients to provoke the general public into following the rules – looking straight down the barrel of the camera and demanding we all pay attention, and do our bit.

Given Covid restrictions, shooting was extremely problematic.

We worked with the director Simon Ratigan, who (along with his DP and sound operative) were granted access to a Covid ward where they spent a day interviewing, filming, and photographing staff and patients.

What they achieved under such tight parameters, and in a ridiculously short time scale, was extraordinary.


Freelance Creative Director Team


Mullen Lowe / HM Government / NHS


January 2021