It used to be the case that healthcare marketing is uber-conservative, dreary and didactic. However, a rising number of brands and agencies are defying cliched narratives to produce ad spots that are creative, slick, and make people stop in their tracks. After all, unless you engage, nobody is going to listen.
The Japanese Red Cross Society found themselves facing a challenge earlier this year-when reports revealed that the country has a particularly low rate of survival, or resuscitation from cardiac arrest, indicating perhaps, that many lives that could have been saved by CPR, were not. The Society wanted to raise awareness of CPR but they also wanted to do it with impact. “We were exploring new ideas when we came across TikTok,” says Nobuhiro Arai (right), creative director at TBWA\HAKUHODO, the agency tasked with the project. “We were drawn to the idea that a simple ‘move’ could be spread from one user to the next.”
What transpired was #BPM100, a campaign that invited TikTok users to dance to a song that has a tempo of 100 BPM (beats per minute). While #BPM100 referenced the optimal CPR tempo—100-120 chest compressions per minute—the five CPR steps—assess the scene, call 911, check for breathing, interlocking fingers and chest compression—became the dance itself. The campaign went viral, racking up 30.2 million views, 1.51 million likes within the first two months of its launch.
The campaign rides on TikTok’s key strengths. Not only does TikTok have an easy user interface, allowing just about anyone with a smartphone to make their bite-sized video content, users can also like, comment on and share one another’s video, spreading the #BPM100 hashtag and its associated content on the platform far and wide. Humorous and wacky content also thrives on TikTok, allowing brands and organisations to promote products, services and values without appearing too heavy-handed.
“I think the creativity of TikTok users is the real strength of the platform,” says Arai. Although everyone was dancing the same dance, some users put their creative spin on it—while one video saw five men in suits dancing to the catchy tune, another saw a poodle in the starring role. The campaign also defied popular perception that TikTok is ‘only for youngsters’, with users from all ages and walks of life participating.
“Users shared their thoughts with healthcare and medical professionals in our comments section—something never seen before in the social media sphere,” says Arai.
Despite the success, The Japanese Red Cross Society and TikTok are not prepared to rest on their laurels yet, as Arai says, “our work isn’t done. We’ll continue to spread the word to raise awareness of BPM 100.”
Kazoo Sato（Chief Creative Officer）
Nobuhiro Arai（Creative Director）
Konosuke Kitta（Communication Designer \ Word Player）
Kyo Hakamata（Digital Creative Lead \ Art Director)