Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a muscle-wasting disease that almost exclusively affects males. There are currently around 2,500 boys living with Duchenne in the UK and as there is no cure, most of them won’t live past their twenties.
Today, charity Duchenne UK launched a new campaign, created by WCRS, which aims to celebrate the strength and courage of those living with the disease and encourage fitness fans to “use their muscles” to help fund research into a cure.
A one-minute spot directed by George Belfield starts out like a film about sporting success, tracking a child walking through a floodlit stadium to the sounds of whistles and cheers.
We quickly learn, however, that Alex is not an athlete or a sports star but a ten-year-old boy living with DMD. “He already knows he is too weak to keep up with his friends. He knows he’ll soon be to weak to walk altogether … but it’s living with that that makes Alex anything but weak,” explains a voiceover. The ad ends with a message urging viewers to help save the World’s Strongest Boys.
An accompanying YouTube film compiles footage of weight lifters, ice skaters, gymnasts, an acrobatic basketball team and Olympic athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill and Louis Smith demonstrating physical strength, and ends with the message: “Think that’s strong? Check out the World’s Strongest Boys”.
A campaign website urges people to support the charity by taking part in sporting events or buying protein shakes and t-shirts, with proceeds going towards research and trials for possible treatments.
T-shirts and protein shakes available on the World’s Strongest Boys website. Proceeds will be used to fund research into a cure
Emily Crossley, founder and co-CEO of Duchenne UK, hopes the campaign will help boost Duchenne UK’s profile and raise money for research and treatment trials. The ad comes at a time when excitement is building for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and taps into the growing interest in doing physical challenges to raise money for good causes.