St John Launches Confronting New TV Ad Campaign

St John Launches Confronting New TV Ad Campaign

02 November 2015

St John Ambulance SA is about to launch a graphic and confronting new television campaign which shows a distraught mother unable to save her drowning son.





The ad shows a mother rushing to the aid of her drowning son in a backyard pool, but being prevented from rescuing him because of an invisible barrier, her lack of first aid knowledge.


St John CEO Ray Creen says the organisation knows the new hard-hitting ad will hit a raw nerve with some members of the public, but at times, lives are needlessly lost because people don’t have even the most basic of skills to assist with first aid.


“There’s no doubt this ad is confronting, but it is deliberately so. What it depicts is a situation which is all too real and can have devastating consequences,” he said.


“When you know a patient could have been saved if someone at the scene had first aid training, you go through a range of emotions from shock to ultimately anger when you realise that a life didn’t need to be lost. You can only begin to imagine what that would feel like for a parent.”
The 60 second advert debuted in Western Australia last year and was also officially recognised by the Australian advertising industry winning three major awards, including Mumbrella TV Commercial of the Year, and was shortlisted at the Cannes Lions, London Advertising and New York Festival international awards.


“This ad is deliberately designed to provoke a response – and action. We want it to resonate with people emotionally and motivate them to book themselves into a first aid course,” said Mr Creen.


“It’s staggering to think that 75 per cent of us have no idea what to do in the face of a medical emergency,” he said.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), drowning is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people. Furthermore, the Royal Life Saving’s National Drowning Report 2015 cites that 33 per cent of all drowning deaths in 2014/15 in Australia occurred in the summer, and swimming pools were the leading location for drowning in children aged 0-4 years.


The “Break the Barrier” campaign will launch on South Australian television screens on Sunday , November 1 at 9.40pm. The campaign is being backed by radio ads which also play on the notion that if you don’t know first aid, you can’t help in an emergency.