Have You Heard Advertising Can Actually Save Lives?


Advertising has always influenced awareness and buying decisions. But did you know it can actually save lives too? Yes. I’m serious. It happened with an advertising campaign we created for the YMCA.

We launched a new membership campaign for the YMCA associations within Dallas/Fort Worth. Given all of the major fitness centers run advertising in early January, to stand out, we took a different approach of using kids to convince their parents to join the Y. Of course the kids were cute, but they also informed parents of all the great benefits of joining the Y from their perspective.

The advertising campaign consisted of television, radio, outdoor, digital ads and landing pages. Audiences were asked to find their nearest YMCA branch and book an appointment to take a tour. One day, an EMT in uniform was taking a tour at one of the Arlington branches. As they were walking by the racquetball courts, a senior citizen YMCA member playing racquetball dropped to the floor from cardiac arrest. The visiting EMT then jumped into action and performed CPR on the member and was successful in getting the person breathing again.

After the ambulance took the member to the hospital, a YMCA employee asked the EMT what had brought him in that day. And he responded, “the kids!”

So there you have it. Not only was the advertising campaign successful in generating 5,522 new members, but it actually saved a life. We haven’t been able to replicate it, but we haven’t given up.