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Shape History creates alternative Christmas ad for Shooting Star Chase

Shape History creates alternative Christmas ad for Shooting Star Chase

Social change company, Shape History has created a different kind of ad in aid of Shooting Star Chase, to remind audiences of what it is like for the recently bereaved, and the importance of family at this time of year.

Released on 6 November, the ad aims to provide a platform for the hundreds of people across the UK who will be spending their first Christmas this year without a loved one. The film also directs audiences to a donate page, which will see all proceeds going to the running of Shooting Star Chase‘s two hospices.

The ad explores the themes of bereavement and the effect of personal loss, telling the story of a father struggling to come to terms with the death of his son due to cancer. As the rest of the family attempt to support each other on the run up to their first Christmas without their son and brother, the ad shows the impact of a family coping with grief and how they come together.

Shape History worked closely with the Surrey-based Barker family, whose son Matthias passed away after his battle with cancer. The family donated images of their son, alongside Matthias’ personal football memorabilia to the film, with the hopes that by sharing his story, it might bring the topic to the forefront of public consciousness and support those going through similar situations.

Mike Buonaiuto, Executive Director of Shape History, said:

“Our organisation recently lost a friend at 21 years old due to cancer and having discussed it with those around us, we really wanted to try and support families who are going through something similar. Christmas can be a difficult time for those who may no longer have their loved ones around. Retailers are annually pumping budgets of millions into Christmas advertising and it can distract away from the true meaning of the festive period. We wanted to essentially hijack that and remind the British public that the festive period is about looking out for the most vulnerable in society and being there for your nearest and dearest.”

Adam Petrie, Director of Communications and Marketing at Shooting Star Chase said:

“Christmas is a time where family is so important and therefore can be particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one. As well as supporting families through the heart-breaking moments no parent should ever have to experience, we also create moments families will cherish forever and we hope this campaign will raise awareness of our vital work and encourage people to help us provide memories that are precious and unforgettable.”




Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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