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This Ad Will Frighten You Into Learning First Aid

Could you "Save the Boy" if you had to? This campaign teaches you some steps that could help.

This Ad Will Frighten You Into Learning First Aid

Most of us have no idea what to do in the event of a medical emergency. Research from the U.K.'s St. John Ambulance found that 55% of parents lacked the skills to save their children from a life threatening accident, while 41% of people said that only the death of a loved one would compel them to learn first aid.

If you're among that 41%, a new commercial from St. John Ambulance and BBH London called "Save the Boy" will probably change your mind. In the spot, a father momentarily turns away from his young son, who begins climbing a tree. A woman we assume to be the boy's mother appears to watch him from a kitchen window. When the boy slips and crashes to the ground, we learn that the woman—who is trained in trauma care—is not who she appears to be. Meanwhile, the father cries in agony as his son lies motionless. The 60-second spot, directed by Dougal Wilson, is utterly horrifying to watch.

Fortunately, "Save the Boy" actually teaches you how. The ad is accompanied by an interactive online platform that demonstrates the basics of first aid. The tutorial picks up where the commercial ends, walking the distraught dad—and viewers— through a series of lifesaving skills. It doesn't teach CPR, however, or discuss how a spinal injury might complicate matters. Which suggests that as responsible citizens, we should all seek out more trauma response education.

St. John's previous campaign, "Helpless" was based on equally harrowing scenario that showed the importance of learning first aid. Read about it here.