Ad of the Week – British Heart Foundation

by Stratton Craig

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Public awareness campaigns, and particularly those relating to health, face a big challenge when attempting to reach and engage with a wide audience. It’s something the British Heart Foundation has approached head on in its latest ‘Call Push Rescue’ slot, and we think they’ve done so effectively.
Britain’s leading heart charity hopes to appeal to a younger audience, and takes an uncomplicated approach to do so in a video posted on its YouTube account. It takes the familiar acronym for cardiopulmonary resuscitation – CPR – and tailors it to represent the three steps you should take when helping someone experiencing heart failure.
In the video, the young female lead introduces these steps: “What it’s reminding you to do is call, push, rescue. Call 999, push on the chest and give rescue breaths”. Our young male co-lead then demonstrates the specific steps to take, before both end the slot with the encouraging close: “we really want you to feel confident about getting involved. Because the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
The video – a trailer for a wider campaign – has a different feel to promotions released by healthcare bodies in the past. It shares similarities with the government’s stroke prevention campaign which revolved around recognising the symptoms and taking action, using the acronym FAST as a prompt. This had a far more serious tone, and used visuals of an individual experiencing a stroke to anchor the knowledge of what to do in the viewer’s mind.
The British Heart Foundation instead has a positive tone of voice, choosing not to use negative emotions as a vehicle to engage with the audience. It’s seen through the tagline ‘help create a nation of lifesavers’, which encourages the viewer to become involved with a worthwhile cause. It’s also appropriate for the audience, as the foundation hopes to reach a broad spectrum, from school children to adults.
The campaign is a far cry from the public information films released during the past decades, which for some are remembered for the fear they summoned rather than the information they provided.
New generations mean new engagement tactics, and understanding these changing audiences is key to the success of any creative work. We know how to gain this understanding, and you can talk to us about it today.

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