The Ad Council is releasing a new round of digital and TV PSAs created pro bono by Warner Bros. as an extension of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women movement. Voiced by actress Elizabeth Banks, the ads feature footage and characters from The LEGO Movie, which is coming out next month.

Video: Go Red For Women Lego Movie PSA

One out of every three deaths among women in the U.S. each year is attributed to cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke, making it the No. 1 killer of women in this country and causing more fatalities than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association.

However, only one in five American women believes that heart disease is her greatest health threat. In an effort to raise awareness of heart disease and empower women with the necessary tools to lead heart healthy lives, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women and the Ad Council are launching a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign today as an extension of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” movement. The launch precedes “National Wear Red Day,” which is on February 7 and will mark the 10th anniversary of “Go Red For Women.”

Created pro bono by Warner Bros., the new television ads feature scenes and characters from the upcoming The LEGO Movie, encouraging audiences, “It’s time to Go Red For Women.” Voiced by Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks, the film character Wyldstyle empowers women, asking them to “Stand stronger, shout louder and demand change.” Audiences are directed to where they can access more information on the disease, including risk factors and symptoms, as well as preventative tips and tools to lead a healthier lifestyle. New online PSAs also feature Wyldstyle and drive audiences to “Go Red For Women’s” website to learn more.

“The American Heart Association is grateful for the opportunity to work with both the Ad Council and Warner Bros. on this entertaining and informative public service announcement that will harness the unique magic movies and their characters have to increase women’s awareness about their No. 1 killer – heart disease,” said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Professor of Cardiology at the Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine and Go Red For Women spokesperson. “While raising funds for women-related education and research is imperative to our success, collaboration with creative partners to create engaging and relevant content also allows the AHA to spark positive behavior change in women and their families.”

An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular disease, resulting in over 400,000 deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association. The symptoms of cardiovascular disease, such as shortness of breath, nausea, back pain and sweating, can be easy to miss and sometimes not outwardly apparent, causing it to be known as a “silent killer.” However, by knowing the risk factors and taking simple steps like stop smoking, regular physical activity, eating a heart healthy diet and blood pressure monitoring, women can decrease their chances of heart illness.

“Heart disease claims the life of nearly one woman in the United States every minute,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “However, many many women continue to falsely believe the disease is one that just targets men or the elderly and don’t take enough action to reduce their personal risk. Together, with longstanding partners the American Heart Association and Warner Brothers, we know we can have an impact on this critical health issue.”

The American Heart Association established “Go Red For Women” in 2004 to encourage women to know their risk factors and adopt healthy lifestyle practices to help prevent heart disease. Since the creation of the program, more than two million women have participated by taking the “Go Red Heart CheckUp” and an estimated 627,000 lives have been saved.

The Ad Council and the American Heart Association have a long history of working together to improve awareness and education around important health issues in the U.S. including stroke awareness and hands-only CPR education. The new PSAs launching today mark their first partnership on behalf of Go Red For Women. Following the Ad Council’s model, the new PSAs will be distributed to 33,000 media outlets nationwide this month. The ads will air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media.

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