Grey Group Poland launched a controversial campaign for the Polish Red Cross, teaching convicted murderers first aid while in prison.
“Life After Death” opens with the question “Is it easier to take a life or to save one?” before introducing viewers to a group of convicted murderers taking a Red Cross first aid course while in prison. All of the inmates express remorse over their crimes and an appreciation for their first aid education as a chance to do good. “I want to be able to repay people for what I’ve done,” says one man, “I have not given life to anybody, and I had no right to take one away,” says another. One of the inmates calls the experience “the best thing that happened to me in prison.”
The controversial approach was designed to gain viewers attention and raise awareness for Red Cross first aid courses in Poland, where 40 percent of citizens don’t know what to do in the case of an emergency and would simply wait for trained professionals in such a situation.
“You watch a story about felons, people who committed atrocious acts. But now, thanks to first aid courses, they have an ability to do something good and a will to redeem themselves,” Grey Poland executive creative director Jakub Korolczuk told AdFreak.
“We needed to build trust with the convicts, which was very hard, and all the recorded dialogue happened in the last hour of the four-day shoot,” Korolczuk added, explaining some of the difficulties in bringing the concept to life. “As much as we wanted to include more detailed stories, we were bound by law to keep them secret.”
Korolczuk admitted the campaign is polarizing, “especially in Poland, where the government and general public are for stricter prison rules and for terminating social rehabilitation programs.”
But the polarizing nature of the spot should make it memorable in the mind of viewers, whether they love it or hate it, fulfilling its function of getting the word out about the first aid courses offered by the Polish Red Cross.
Agency: Grey Group Poland
Executive Creative Director: Jakub Korolczuk
Deputy Creative Director: Rafał Ryś
Senior Copywriter: Jan Cieślar
Account Manager: Agata Pamięta
PR: Joanna Bednarek, Iga Toczyska
Pedagogium / Special thanks: Filip Konopczyński
Production: ShootMe Production
Producer: Michał Majewski
Head of production: Wiktoria Michalkiewicz
Director: Marcin Filipowicz
DOP: Maciek Ryter