Pop-culture tie-in of the year: Heart and Stroke

The non-profit's bold zombie campaign got everyone talking about CPR.

Nothing like a little zombie action to get the heart racing. Or in this case – stopped cold.

That was the premise behind the “Undeading” campaign by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Toronto-based Agency59.
The campaign’s online spot followed a lone survivor in zombie-infested Toronto being chased by a horde of walkers, when suddenly she drops dead from a heart attack. Those kind zombies, however, revive her with some useful CPR training. The spot was supported with a digital media buy and worked with Toronto’s Zombie Walk to put the word out, driving people to sign up for the world’s largest CPR training session at Canada’s Wonderland on Oct. 25.

“For Heart and Stroke, this is pretty risky,” says Geoff Craig, VP of marketing, communications and strategic alliance, Heart and Stroke. “But we researched the concept to make sure zombies wouldn’t offend people. Clearly it’s tongue-in-cheek.”
The gamble paid off: more than 800,000 people had viewed the video at press time, with 52 million impressions overall. The spot was picked up by Mashable, AdAge and Fast Company, and CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos called it the “Best. PSA. Ever,” on his blog.

More than 5,000 people showed up to Wonderland to attend the record-breaking CPR training session, says Craig. “That one night is the equivalent of three years worth of people we would train normally in Ontario.”