Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 31% of all deaths. But the real crisis is that 80% of these deaths are preventable.

For the World Heart Federation, awareness of CVD issues is of the utmost importance and World Heart Day lies at the centre of all their CVD activities.

World Heart Day (29th September) was ranked 6th largest health awareness day in the world by social community when by rights it should be the largest. The WHF asked apple tree to make this a reality by creating an integrated campaign to build engagement, increase public awareness and grow media coverage of the day and the issues surrounding CVD.

The true challenge of this campaign was the diversity of the audience. In order to share these messages on a global scale, there had to be a way for everyone to contribute, whether they were medical professionals or members of the public.

Beautiful idea

An integrated campaign was created for World Heart Day which was based on three particular messages and actions:

“My Heart, Your Heart” was the central concept of the campaign because heart health is something we can tackle together. This led on to the first action where participants could make a Heart Promise using the various creative materials available from the Foundation’s website. The Heart Promise was a statement of intent – a promise to keep their hearts healthy – which was translated visually into a unique gesture that was universal, simple and shareable.

Participants also nominated their Heart Heroes; an individual or group of people who had shown commitment, bravery, empathy and care in relation to heart health.

Before the day itself, a campaign of awareness building, myth busting and promoting heart heroes was implemented on social media, materials were distributed to the media in 10 languages and weekly articles featuring the latest news and campaign progress were posted on the WHD website.


On the day itself, numerous world landmarks and buildings were lit up with red light to mark the occasion.

The campaign achieved excellent results on social media: 1.4bn people reached, 29,000 mentions of WHD, trending topic in 28 countries and more than 6M video views with an average YT view duration of 1m 21s (88% of the video).

As well as in traditional media: 3,299 clippings, reaching 634M people.

By increasing the social media community so dramatically, World Heart Day climbed two positions to 4th in the ranking of equivalent ‘World Days’, which puts it on a similar footing to World Diabetes Day and World Multiple Sclerosis Day.