The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has reunited with Vinnie Jones to call on the UK to “help save lives by learning CPR”, after a Danish footballer who collapsed during a Euros fixture had his life saved by the technique.
Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during a match against Finland in scenes that shook the footballing world last week.
Former player and actor Vinnie Jones has recorded a 40-second message for the heart charity, which will air during Thursday’s pre-match coverage of the Denmark vs Belgium game on ITV.
Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, BHF's newly appointed advertising partner, the film delivers a simple and hard-hitting message – that learning CPR helps saves lives.
Less than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10%.
However, the BHF says that in countries where CPR is widely taught and public-access defibrillators are more readily available, survival rates are up to three times as high.
Jones said: “Like millions of people around the world, I watched in horror as Christian Eriksen collapsed suddenly last week. But immediate CPR and defibrillation saved his life.
“By teaming up with the British Heart Foundation, I hope we can inspire millions more people to take the time to learn these vital skills. The message is simple – learn CPR and turn yourself into a potential life-saver. As Saturday showed, you never know when you might be called upon to help save a life.”
The BHF has seen a more than 2,000 per cent increase in people visiting its website to learn CPR and find out how to use a defibrillator. The charity’s website offers video tuition on these life-saving skills.
Claire Sadler, executive director of marketing, fundraising and engagement at the BHF, said: “This week’s sobering events have thrust the life-saving impact of CPR on to the public agenda worldwide. As the UK’s heart charity, we have campaigned for many years to create a Nation of Life-savers with the skills and confidence to perform CPR.
“It has been an immense team effort from the BHF marketing team, and our agency teams at PHD and Saatchi & Saatchi, to create the ad in less than a day. We hope the result is that more people learn CPR and more lives are saved.”
The charity has campaigned for many years to create a "Nation of Life-savers", with the skills and confidence to perform CPR if someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Learning CPR is now on the secondary school curriculum in England and Wales, and all 32 local authorities in Scotland have committed to training all pupils before they leave school. The charity continues to campaign for it to be a compulsory part of the curriculum in Northern Ireland.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The shocking events of last week have touched so many people around the world. There is no doubt that CPR and the use of a defibrillator saved a life. But today the tragic reality is that fewer than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and far too many people lack the confidence to perform life-saving CPR.
“We’re delighted to join forces with Vinnie again to urge people to take just a few minutes, right now, to learn life-saving CPR. The most important thing to remember is that you must act when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Call 999, start CPR immediately, and ask someone to bring the nearest defibrillator if one is close by."
Saatchi & Saatchi developed the film, and ITV and PHD conceived the contextual slot, which will be broadcast before the match kicks off.
Lauren Dyer, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “Our message and objective for this campaign was simple; that learning CPR is life-saving. We’re grateful for everyone pulling together – so fast – to help us get BHF’s important message across, from ITV through to Vinnie Jones. Because ultimately, if more of us were to learn CPR, even more lives could be saved, on or off the pitch.”
Fergus Barnett, managing partner at PHD, called it “an important message that will be delivered with impactful context”.