Save In Prague

Organisers: Prague Ambulance Service, Hypermarket Film

What it is:

The Prague Ambulance Service worked with Hypermarket Film to produce two tongue-in-cheek adverts poking fun at the differences between expectations and reality when working for the emergency services. The spots promoted the “Save In Prague” recruitment campaign, which attempted to expand the ambulance service’s ranks while reminding people that working for the emergency services isn’t necessarily as it seems in the movies. After approaching director Vít Klusák, he and his colleagues from Hypermarket Film offered to produce the ads for free.

Why we like it:

With the help of Hypermarket Film and other companies who were willing to provide time, equipment and props free of charge, Prague Ambulance Service managed to turn a budget of almost nothing into scenes which would not look out of place in a Hollywood action movie. The two clips ironically portray two idealised visions of working for the emergency services: the adrenaline rush of medics in situations resembling a war-zone (replete with snakes), and the supposed glamorous lifestyles of emergency service workers. In so doing they suggest that you don’t have to be a hero to work for the ambulance service while presenting a charmingly self-deprecating image of Prague and its inhabitants. The resultant message is that joining the Prague Ambulance Service means becoming part of Prague society in a real and meaningful way – an excellent recruitment strategy during a global health crisis which has led many to feel cut off from their communities.

PR Guru comment:

“In a world where hundreds, if not thousands of messages are hitting your brain every single minute, standing out from the crowd is a difficult ask for any brand, product or service, especially when you are encouraging people to take specific action because of your promotion.

“The key to the success of this campaign is of course, its humour. Humour in a PR campaign can often be risky. The safe strategy is always to stay serious; to play it straight. Nobody wants to be accused of making light or trivialising such a vital role in the community. But if you play the humour right it can really cut through the clutter and noise of the marketplace. And that is exactly what the Prague Ambulance Service promotion does so effectively.

“Opening with an over-dramatic set of circumstances, you find your attention being caught up in trying to work out what is going on. But then the sequence and the voice over seem to sober up, showing us that while the paramedic may not be in a film scene worthy of a Hollywood disaster movie, they are nonetheless doing vital work that is ultimately rewarding. From a recruitment point of view I am sure that this promotion will be highly successful. It is distinctive, memorable, and fun, and those ingredients make Prague Ambulance Service stand out from the crowd – which is the whole point of promotion.”

– Steve Dunne

Steve Dunne is CEO of Digital Drums, the UK’s premier digital PR and marketing strategy consultancy. Steve is the UK’s leading PR and marketing trainer and a well-renowned expert on PR in the digital age.
Photo: Prague Ambulance Service