Kirsty Marrins: Another life-saving digital campaign from St John Ambulance

The Chokeables has had remarkable success on social media and has reportedly saved the lives of 52 babies

No doubt you’ve heard of The Chokeables, which was a Third Sector Awards Marketing Campaign of the Year Finalist in 2015? It’s a hugely successful digital campaign from St John Ambulance with the aim of teaching parents what to do if their baby starts choking.

The YouTube video has had more than 7.7 million views and The Chokeables page on the charity’s website has had more than 18,000 shares to Facebook. The most impressive statistic however, is that since the campaign 52 babies have been saved due to parents or care givers knowing what to do in the event of choking.

Following on from this success the charity has recently launched a CPR babygrow, in partnership with Tesco, which teaches parents how to perform CPR on their baby in an emergency. The joint venture builds on their Nursery Rhymes Inc. campaign that was developed as the result of research commissioned by St John Ambulance and carried out by OnePoll, which surveyed 2,000 UK parents and found that 74 per cent said their baby not breathing is the first aid emergency they fear most. Yet only one in four know what to do.

The colourful babygrow has illustrations of how to provide CPR to a baby in an emergency, in the style of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty, and there are written instructions inside on the collar. Watch the video to see how it works.

The campaign launched on 10 October and in just one week the video has achieved 5 million organic views on Facebook. Within 12 hours of going live it had hit 1 million views and had reached 2.5 million views within 24 hours. As I write, it has just shy of 100k shares (99,806) and had reached 15.6 million people. The video has also had 3,753 comments, showing a high level of engagement.

Emma Sheppard, head of brand and communications at St John Ambulance, said: "We have been blown away by the success of the campaign, particularly on Facebook where our target was to achieve 300k views organically, which seems low now but was based on campaigns with a similar budget. We have in fact had 5 million views now, which really shows the value of teaching life-saving first aid in a simple and engaging way."

The charity partnered with Mumsnet, which has more than 150,000 likes, to run a Facebook Live Q&A on the day it launched to demonstrate the CPR technique. It’s had more than 13,000 views and 162 shares.

The #CPRbabygrow hashtag on Twitter has had more than 300,000 impressions in one week, with many parents tweeting or sending in pictures of their babies in the babygrow. There is also the opportunity to win one of 50 babygrows by entering their #HuntingHumpty competition. The babygrow is a limited edition and is currently not available to purchase.

Sheppard said: "It’s been wonderful to see so many parents sharing photos of their babies in our CPR babygrow. Not only do the babies look gorgeous – they’ve been putting huge smiles on our faces – it’s showing us that parents love the design and are finding it a helpful, reassuring way to learn first aid. We’re thrilled that so many parents have taken it to their hearts."

Although the campaign has only recently launched, it’s already gaining lots of traction. What impresses me the most is that the charity produces content, and in this instance a product, based on research and not just assumptions.

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