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How Vinnie Jones and some hard and fast CPR raised awareness for the British Heart Foundation

How Vinnie Jones and some hard and fast CPR raised awareness for the British Heart Foundation


Every year 30,000 people in the UK collapse from cardiac arrest, and only 10% survive. Lives could be saved if people were confident enough to have a go at CPR.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the first organisation in the UK to actively promote Hands-only CPR.

The brief for Grey was simple: educate the public in the basics of hands-only CPR. In 40 seconds.  


Fear of catching an infectious disease and lack of knowledge about correct technique means bystanders are often reluctant to perform CPR. To break down these barriers, Grey focussed on educating people in the simple technique of ‘Hands-only CPR’ – chest compressions, performed hard and fast – no kissing!


To teach the public a lesson they would never forget. Instead of lecturing through a white coated expert, a Hollywood hard man was chosen, with some disco thrown in.

The national campaign featured infamous and iconic hard man Vinnie Jones demonstrating how simple hands-only CPR can be, to the Bee Gees classic Stayin’ Alive – which is the correct beat per minute tempo to perform chest compressions at. Vinnie stepped viewers through the simple technique of Hands-only CPR, flanked by two dancing henchman.

As well as a TV, a press campaign, training video and T-shirts sold in the BHF charity shops were also produced to reinforce the messaging of Hard and Fast.


The film currently has over 1.9 million views on YouTube – that’s 1.9M people who can now save a life – and was the most shared video online during launch week with over 1M views in under a week.

It amassed 72,601 shares across social media channels in the first 10 days, and trended organically on Twitter five times on launch day.

Publicity for the campaign has been phenomenal, featuring in every major newspaper and TV channel during launch week, and generating over 470 million media impressions.

The advert captured the public’s imagination, being featured and referenced on popular shows including Soccer AM, Harry Hill’s TV Burp and The Graham Norton Show.

More importantly, to date the campaign has saved 15 lives, from people who knew what to do from watching the advert, and were prepared to have a go.

The training film, which clocked up 1M hits in just five days, is now also being used by the NHS and various health professionals to help train others in hands-only CPR.

Amusingly, “you’ve been Vinnie-ed” has now become a term adopted in some of Scotland’s hospitals for the patients where people did successfully just ‘have a go’.

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