A hard-hitting TV ad, educational posters and digital teaching aids, the Department of Health’s Stroke Awareness campaign is a wonderful example of how advertising can be used to inform, educate and even save lives.

Originally launched in 2009, the multi-channel national campaign is being re-launched today. It highlighted the key signs to look out for, and the action that would need to be taken in the eventuality of a stroke with a memorable acronym, F.A.S.T: (Face; Arms; Speech; Time to call 999).

The campaign successfully changed behaviour fast. As published in Credos’ Advertising Pays, in 2009 it increased the volume of stroke-related calls by over 55% in the first four months of the campaign. Moreover, it is estimated that 9,864 additional stroke sufferers got to hospital more quickly in that year because they called ‘999’ promptly as a result of the campaign activity.

With today’s piece from the BBC spotlighting that “the message of this Act FAST campaign remains as relevant as ever”, it’s a great example of how advertising can be a force for good!