Leo Burnett Change, Royal National Lifeboat Institution Challenge You to Hold Your Breath

By Erik Oster 

Leo Burnett Change, the causevertising arm of Leo Burnett London, launched a new PSA spot for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution inviting viewers to take “The Breath Test” as part of its “#RespecttheWater” campaign.

“So, how long can you hold your breath?” asks the voiceover at the beginning of the spot, as a counter onscreen counts down from three and the screen shows a first-person perspective of someone diving off a peer into the water. As the spot continues instructions alternate between “Hold your breath” and “Breathe” as the diver is able to temporarily break the surface. At the end of the spot, the voiceover informs viewers, “On land you would have survived this, as the average person can hold their breathe for 45-seconds,” while “in the water, you might not last ten,” due to the effects of cold water shock.

It’s an interesting way to get people’s attention, drawing viewers in with the test before educating them on the increased dangers of cold waters. Royal National Lifeboat Institution hopes the message can help halve the number of people who die each year in British and Irish coastal waters by 2024, with the current estimate at around 200. The campaign also includes OOH, digital, social, radio and experiential components, as well as tailored safety programs, a safety roadshow and a campaign microsite.