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

BBH's latest kick in the gut

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