Hard hitting film on the dangers of meningitis launched

9th February 2015

One woman’s life and death struggle as meningitis ravages her body is the subject of a new hard-hitting awareness TV and cinema ad


Today we launch a 60 second commercial which aims to raise awareness across the UK, the the real and present dangers of meningitis

The Fastest Hour uses real life story to drive home the fact that meningitis is a real and present threat to young adults, and that knowing the signs and symptoms can save lives and prevent life changing disabilities.

To be screened on Channel 5 on the evening of Monday 9th February, the 60 second film vividly portrays the feelings and sensations the young woman undergoes, from starting to feel unwell to being kept alive in intensive care, and the full impact the disease has on her life. It shows how quickly meningitis takes hold and the need for urgent medical attention.

“Knowing that some 1500 people aged over 15 are likely to contract meningitis in the next 12 months is a compelling and motivating reason to raise awareness amongst this at risk group” says Sue Davie, CEO at Meningitis Now.

“Young adults and in particular those in further education, are notoriously difficult to reach, which is why we have taken a hard hitting approach. We hope that seeing the real life experience of someone their own age will dispel the myth that meningitis only affects children and that they owe it to themselves and their friends to know the signs and symptoms of this truly awful disease”.

Steve Dayman, Meningitis Now founder, who lost his own son Spencer to meningitis 33 years ago, said: “This film quite rightly pulls no punches and will make people sit up and take notice.

“It’s essential to raise awareness of this disease, which can kill in hours.

“The film’s messages are clear - recognise the severity of meningitis and the speed with which it develops, especially when it is combined with septicaemia – blood poisoning, know the signs and symptoms, act fast and seek urgent medical attention.

“These are all vital to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Produced in partnership with top advertising agency Leo Burnett Change, the film carries a 15 certificate and will feature in cinemas across the capital. It can also be seen here

The film will also feature in awareness talks around the country through the charity’s network of community support officers and volunteers.

Meningitis Now acknowledges that the Fastest Hour, its creation and airing would not have been possible without the kind donation of time and expertise from Leo Burnett Change, Bare Films, Channel 5, Digital Cinema Media and Pearl and Dean.

You can help us raise awareness by sharing this film on social media using the tag #FastestHour