American Heart Association Hands Only CPR

The American Heart Association is running a campaign encouraging bystanders to use Hands-Only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) when an adult collapses and is unresponsive. Public service commercials distributed through the Ad Council lead to a web site,, providing an interactive “Hands Symphony”, a smartphone app and instructions on hands only CPR.

Hands Symphony

Hands-Only CPR, or CPR without mouth-to-mouth breathing, is a two-step technique that involves calling 9-1-1 and pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest until professional help arrives. Forty-four percent of adults say they would not perform CPR because they’re not confident in their ability, according to a national American Heart Association survey conducted in 2008. Consumer research also shows that people often hesitate because they’re not comfortable with giving mouth-to-mouth CPR.

“This new campaign beautifully depicts the power of hands in helping to save a life,” Conlon said. “I believe it will empower more bystanders to take action when they see someone in cardiac arrest.”

Life Saving Devices

Through the Hands-Only CPR campaign, the American Heart Association and Ad Council hope to reach all adults, particularly women age 55 years and older who are most likely to be the spouses of potential victims.

“Save a Life”, a video using sign language, hands only.

A CPR handwalker raises awareness for the Hands Only site.

“It’s a rare occasion when advertising can help save lives,” said Peter McGuinness, CEO of Gotham. “We hope that through this campaign, we can encourage all bystanders, trained or untrained, to do something when they see an adult suddenly collapse.”

The Hands Symphony Behind the Scenes by Mophonics.


Created pro bono by Gotham Inc., New York.

Sounds for the Hands Symphony were produced at Mophonics.

Filed under: Commercials, Interactive, Print

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