15 August 2011
A hard-hitting new first aid video by the British Red Cross has reached an audience of millions in the past two weeks – thanks to YouTube and a helpful sprinkling of magic from Harry Potter.
The 30-second cinema advert was shown before what may well be the biggest movie release of 2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Over two weeks, it was shown in 823 cinemas and reached 2.6 million people.
The powerful ad focuses on a drunk girl at a party and – using a split-screen device to startling effect – starkly shows the potential consequences of not knowing first aid. Crucially, it also shows that, in such circumstances, you can save someone’s life simply by pushing them on their side and tilting their head back so the airway is clear.
Meanwhile, the advert has also attracted almost 200,000 views on YouTube in just two weeks, making it the 11th most popular video in the non-profits and activism section of the site.
The film is part of the Red Cross’ Life. Live it. campaign, which focuses on making first aid relevant and interesting to young people aged 11-16 years old. This summer, the campaign also took its first aid message to Relentless NASS in Somerset, Newquay Festival and the Underage Festival in London.
Each festival featured a Red Cross ‘silent disco’ event (where people dance while listening to music purely through headphones) with a twist. While everyone was partying and having fun in headphones, simulated ‘casualties’ would suddenly collapse. At that point, other dancers were told – via their headphones – how to put the casualty in the recovery position.
The silent disco events were a big noise at all the festivals, and by the end more than 5,000 young dancers had learned new first aid skills.
See the first aid cinema advert
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