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Ad of the Day: St. John Ambulance Terrifies You (Again) Into Thinking About First Aid


Few client-agency teams do scare tactics quite as well as St. John Ambulance and BBH London.

With their artful yet horrifying set pieces about the importance of knowing first aid, the pair have been mainstays at Cannes, mostly recently winning a silver Film Lion for last year's excruciating "Helpless" spot. Now, they're back with a new film and interactive experience, launching today—and it's just as bleak, and sneaks up on you just as cunningly.

The film hinges on an element of surprise, which we won't spoil, but things are ominous from Blink director Dougal Wilson's very first frames. Something's going to happen to this kid—but what? In the end, though, it's not really about the child at all. It's about the woman and the man, and only one of them has a chance to save the boy's life.

The 60-second spot is supported by an interactive experience that immerses you in the story and demonstrates simple first aid, which can be the difference between life and death.

"I had an experience myself where someone needed my help and I didn't know first aid, and I will always feel that I could have done more," says Wilson, best known for his John Lewis ads and recent "Pony" spot for Three."By putting other people in this position through the film, and then teaching them how to save the boy with the online interactive experience, we hope to avoid anyone having that feeling of helplessness in real life."

Client: St John Ambulance

Agency: BBH, London
Creative Team: Rob Ellis & Alex Ball
Creative Director: Matt Doman & Ian Heartfield
TV Producer: Natalie Parish
Interactive Producer: Kate Sutherland
Strategic Business Lead: Ann-Marie Costelloe
Strategist: Carl Mueller
Team Manager: Lauren Blunden

Production Company: Blink
Director: Dougal Wilson
Executive Producer: James Studholme
Producer: Ewen Brown
DoP: Lasse Frank

Post Production: MPC
VFX Producer: Josh King
VFX Supervisors: Tom Harding and Adam Crocker
Colorists: Jean-Clement Soret and James Tillett

Editor/Editing House: Joe Guest / Paul Moth @ Final Cut
Sound: Factory
Sound Engineer: Sam Robson

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