Canadian Red Cross

This is not a drill

canadian red cross psa swimming pool slide
A message about water safety that can't be ignored


Drownings were increasing at an alarming rate. The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) needed an idea to break through media clutter and drive behavioral change.
“The PSA had a tremendous impact on viewers…we consider it an extraordinary success.”
— Sara Falconer, Director Digital Communications, Canadian Red Cross
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How we did it

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The Pool Party uses the storytelling trope of first-person video to show the terror of drowning from a child’s perspective. Our 30-second spot features an uncomfortable cliffhanger that drives viewers to watch the full story at a microsite. On the site, we featured additional video to help the audience understand what drowning really looks like, provided sign-up for first aid courses, and offered important facts regarding drowning and water safety.

To support the video, we also implemented a social media campaign, developed a printable infographic, played previews in cinema, and ran an out-of-home campaign.


The Pool Party grips viewers with terror associated with the potential tragedy, standing out among headlines. Seen by millions, the campaign reminds parents to pay more attention to their children near water and to have the first aid training they need in case of a tragic event.
Facebook views in less than a week
impressions in the first three months
TV views
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