Wednesday, 4 January 2012

How to go viral

Back of the net! Almost...

YouTube makes it easy to share video but creating a video that has high impact, that grabs the attention of the audience you want to reach and that goes viral almost instantaneously takes real creative talent, marketing skill and courage.

Let there be no doubt that BHF's decision to use footballer-turned-actor Vinnie 'It's been emotional' Jones to front its latest campaign - to re-educate the public on how to give first aid to someone who is having a heart attack - is inspired. 

Having discovered that an effective way to administer emergency CPR is to pump along to the Beegees disco classic 'Staying Alive', BHF has borrowed from Jones' classic performance in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels to create a short film that delivers its message in a clear, unambiguous and cheery way and, crucially, inspires it's audience to 'pass it on'.

From the reactions I've seen on Twitter this morning it's clear that most people agree that BHF has made a brave but genius choice in using VJ in the ad, and I agree. When I woke up this morning I didn't know that it was okay to do CPR without mouth-to-mouth. Now I do, and what's more, I feel more confident that I'd know what to do if the situation were to arise.

If the target demographic for BHF's campaign is white British men of the terraces then there is no doubt that BHF has found the sweet spot with this one. However, I like a bit of diversity with my cornflakes. CPR is for everyone, not just heterosexual white men (Jones delivers the line "You only kiss your missus on the lips")... a little more thought could have made an otherwise 10/10 for effectiveness a bit more inclusive.

Not everyone will identify with Vinnie Jones or the 'character' he is playing here. Acknowledging this, and in the hope BFH will produce something equally compelling and aimed at the rest of us, this is viral video at its best.