WaterAid pours soul into first legacy ad

WaterAid has released its first legacy advert to showcase the lasting impact of donations to the global water and sanitation charity.

’What Jack Gave’ has been developed by independent creative agency Don’t Panic to show the difference you can make by bequeathing a lasting legacy of clean water in your will.

Focused on cherished personal belongings and anecdotes relating to people we have lost, the emotional piece follows the friends and family of Jack as they recall his life and legacy before transporting viewers to Mary in Zambia, seen holding a glass of water.

The poignant piece closes with the reveal that Jack gifted WaterAid in his will, ensuring that a village tap could be installed for the benefit of others.

Rick Dodds, creative partner at Don’t Panic, said: “With such a simple idea, we knew the emotional power would come from the cast and their performance. So we cast people who could call on their own experiences and loved ones. Caroline, for example, who we open on, is talking about her late husband. This gave the film an authenticity and power that a ‘fictional script’ couldn’t have achieved. In Zambia, we showed Mary [the final character in the film] the UK section of the shoot, which enabled her to write her own line for the culmination of the film. Again this gave the film an emotional depth that is very authentic and real.”

Inviting viewers who have never previously donated to WaterAid to ’add water to the world by adding water to your will’, the campaign diverges from traditional legacy campaigns that target people with an established connection to the relevant charity.

Dominique Abranson, legacy and in-memory lead at WaterAid, added: “More people than ever are choosing to add a charity to their will but WaterAid may not always be front of mind for legacy gifts. We wanted to convey the positive impact your life could have on someone you will never meet through a gift in your will and to show how your life can have meaning both to your loved ones and those you will never meet.“

Don’t Panic has now produced six creative spots for WaterAid since beginning work for the charity in May 2020, including most recent campaign ’WaterAid Can’.

WaterAid has previously worked to bring the plight of villagers in Sierra Leone closer to home with its #Untapped campaign by The Kite Factory.