American Heart Association – Inspiring Action to Save Lives

Gotham, New York

In this industry we often say that while our work is without a doubt important, it isn't a matter of life and death. This is a unique case where it was.

Hundreds of thousands of people die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. Unfortunately, the majority of them could have been saved if the people around them performed a single act: CPR.

The American Heart Association wanted to change this so they came to us with a simplified way to help that no longer required mouth-to-mouth breathing – Hands-Only CPR.

This paper is the story of a planning team that threw all natural inclinations out the window and used unconventional approaches to uncover a unique way to deliver on a client's important objectives. The result was the identification of a strategic red herring and a reframed problem that led to a less-obvious strategy and a deadly simple idea that could motivate people to perform CPR to save a life. All with a media budget of zero dollars.