One of the UK’s first post-lockdown TV commercials airs this week when funeral planning company Safe Hands makes its TV debut.
The commercial features actress Suzanne Sinclair of Holby City and Casualty fame with voice over from Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol who plays the cook Beryl Patmore.
The 60 and 30 second slots were filmed under strict social distancing conditions which required the use of a genuine couple to play the husband and wife roles in the script. Suzanne’s real-life husband Eric, who is not an actor, volunteered to take on the role and was roped into the commercial.
“I have always known that Eric was a man of many talents, but he really did excel in his first commercial,” said Suzanne.
Safe Hands had originally planned to film in April but was prevented due to the lockdown over coronavirus. The lifting of strict social distancing restrictions in July enabled the filming to go ahead albeit with a reduced crew, venue traffic flows and mask wearing.
The commercial aims to encourage people to consider funeral planning earlier on in life in the same way as making financial arrangements for other life stages.
The TV campaign is part of a broader brief to grow the Safe Hands brand and is being handled in its entirety by the independent marketing network Pimento who picked up £1m business earlier this year.
The commercials were created by Pimento member Switch Creative as part of a larger brand remit for Safe Hands. Creative Director Panos Conti said: “Although a relatively straightforward shoot, the restrictions around social distancing made it a quite a challenging production. The big surprise for all of us was how Eric stepped up to the challenge of playing the screen husband.”
The production was through Buddy Films, directed by Paul Gowers.