Top Spot of the Week: PRETTYBIRD Director Tom Beard Delivers Blood Shortage Message For UK’s NHSBT, Agency Pablo


Robert Goldrich
Friday, Apr. 20, 2018


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NHSBT Give Blood, an entity within the U.K.’s Department of Health, needs nearly 700 new donors every day to cover the country’s blood requirements. To raise awareness of the need for blood donors, NHSBT Give Blood worked with director Tom Beard of PRETTYBIRD and London agency Pablo on this TV commercial titled “Whistle” with a voiceover by Academy Award-winning actor (Iris) Jim Broadbent, and featuring past blood donation recipients and current blood donors.

The spot uses the metaphor of a milkman, an iconic symbol.  The friendly milkman character seems to be delivering milk to people during the early morning hours in a regular community. Then the realization sets in that he’s delivering bottles of blood to those in need. And our milkman sadly doesn’t have enough to go around.

Director Beard commented: “The challenge of delivering a metaphorical narrative in less than a minute without it feeling rushed or confusing was a lot of fun. It was very important to me that the characters were all relatable, everyday types that an audience could easily familiarize themselves with. I hope this spot manages to engage and inspire new donors to give blood.”

Juliette Larthe, PRETTYBIRD EP and co-founding UK partner UK, commented: “We started working with Tom Beard unofficially in 2017. I had been a fan of his work for a while, so it’s a delight to have Tom working with us on a plethora of projects; whether it’s stills, shorts, music videos or advertising, every medium he uses hones his storytelling technique. This new film for the Give Blood campaign is a perfect example of Tom’s ability to weave a visual narrative around an important issue, navigating it with style and impact, and illustrating the important core message.”   

“We have tried to create a piece that is both welcoming and arresting in equal measures to affect people emotionally and deliver the truth about what it takes to keep the country going strong. PRETTYBIRD have produced the film masterfully; pairing the emotional components of the story, with the cinematic, very British feel of the spot. It was very solid creative and practical partnership—pairing Pablo’s vision, story and concept, with PRETTYBIRD’s realization.” said Tim Snape, ECD at Pablo.


Client NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Agency Pablo Tim Snape, creative director; Nina Bacchus, producer; Alex Nicholson, executive producer. Production PRETTYBIRD Tom Beard, director; Juliette Larthe, exec producer; Hannah Bellil, producer; Rina Yang, DP. Editorial Speade, London Ben Crook, editor. Color Cheat Joseph Bicknell, colorist. Music Buff  Dan White, composer. Audio String & Tins

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