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Sector Experience

Media and Marketing

The Ad We Never Expected to Make - PHD UK

by Alice Dix

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) had no intention of advertising during Euro 2020.​

Then, during Denmark’s opening game vs Finland, the world witnessed the shocking collapse of Christian Eriksen – and the work of those who performed life-saving heroics on the pitch. ​​

In a moment when CPR was headline news, the BHF clearly had an important role it could play in driving more Brits to become potential life-savers but it was also a moment where it had no ad and no media budget. ​

So, we created a high-impact, financially feasible media opportunity that put the BHF’s life-saving message right in the middle of the conversation.

Working with ITV, we created a 40 sec spot before the game, immediately after the section of the pre-match punditry where it was most likely that they would be talking about the incident and Eriksen’s recovery.​

We then created a brand-new ad that used the context of Eriksen’s collapse (but didn’t refer directly to it) and recruited Vinnie Jones to deliver the voiceover (Jones starred in the BHF’s most famous CPR campaign in 2013).

At 16:42 on Thursday June 16th – just 72 hours after the idea was conceived – “the Ad we never expected to make” was broadcast immediately after a 7-minute studio discussion led by BHF ambassador Graeme Souness, who discussed his own coronary heart disease experiences in context of Eriksen’s collapse.


1.6M Saw the Ad Live

58,000 New Potential Life Savers in the UK

80 Additional Pieces of News and TV Coverage




The Britsh Heart Foundation