Life-saving marketing

Hands-only CPR by the British Heart Foundation

Despite feeling a little dazed and confused this morning (I’m still getting back into my stride following the Christmas break!), I was swiftly woken up by a feature on BBC Breakfast News involving Vinnie Jones, the Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and… CPR.

The British Heart Foundation has launched a new campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the simplicity of CPR. The campaign focuses on the fact that someone can be kept alive by pushing their chest without having to give them the ‘kiss of life’.

Fun and fact-filled campaign

The British Heart Foundation has created a smart, joined-up campaign with a memorable hook that grabs people’s attention. They’ve successfully used the full range of paid, owned and earned media (the combination of a simple, themed, social website with traditional PR and advertising) to raise awareness in both mainstream and social media channels.

The ‘Hands-only CPR’ page within the charity’s website acts a social hub for the campaign. As well as a link to the British Heart Foundation’s Twitter feed (in which they encourage the use of the hashtag #hardandfast to help spread the message), they also include an iPhone app, YouTube videos of the TV ad and CPR lesson, case studies and a list of ‘Ask Vinnie’ FAQs.

There are also links to where visitors can buy the music, get the t-shirts and sign a petition to get emergency life-saving skills taught in schools.

What really works for me is the fun that has been injected into the campaign. They’ve not just used a celebrity for the sake of it. They’ve chosen Vinnie Jones and played up to his image as a ‘hard man’ to create a theme and character with whom the British public can identify.

And the use of the song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ is a masterstroke! Not only does it reinforce the overall message of the campaign but someone conducting CPR can push down on someone’s chest – hard and fast – to the memorable beat of the song.

Life-saving advice

As good as the campaign is from a technical point-of-view, the important thing to remember is the message it’s trying to get across – that anyone can perform CPR.

By creating a fun, memorable and integrated campaign, I believe the British Heart Foundation have given people (including me) life-saving advice that they may have never been aware of should they have created a set of non-descript flyers and an ordinary commercial.


  • http://www.deaddinosaur.co.uk Chris Norton

    Nice post – I like your blog Gavin. You have a nice list of bloggers over there in your  blog roll too. I used to have one – I am thinking maybe I should start another one.

    • http://twitter.com/gavinllewellyn Gavin Llewellyn

      Thanks a lot, Chris!

      I’m pleased you liked the post and my blog roll. When I originally created the list I didn’t even think of it as a blog roll. More of a tribute to all the sites that I believe are first class. I definitely think you should start another one. It’s good to get an idea of someone else’s influences.