DLKW Lowe’s Stroke Work, ‘The Most Effective Public Health Advertising Ever.’

In 2009, DLKW Lowe launched a stroke awareness campaign in partnership with NHS. The campaign, Act F.A.S.T. , was created with one purpose – to reduce death and disability from stroke. In the United Kingdom, strokes were the third largest killer and the main cause of adult disability. Upon its launch, the campaign saw immediate results. Shortly after the campaign’s launch in 2009, a six-year-old in Shrewsbury ran to a neighbor’s house proclaiming, "granny looks like that woman on TV!" The neighbor confirmed the signs of a stroke and immediately called for assistance, ensuring that the grandmother got to the hospital quickly enough to be saved from severe disability or even death.

This was one of a number of true stories that emerged soon after the campaign launched. And they continue – all because of a truly powerful piece of public service advertising.

In order to create this effective campaign, DLKW Lowe had to ensure that bystanders were able to spot the symptoms of a stroke quickly and call 999, the emergency response system. Act F.A.S.T. gives viewers all of the information needed to quickly and accurately identify symptoms of a stroke. The acronym, F.A.S.T., references four key indicators – face, arms, speech and time. Face, arms and speech can be affected when a stroke occurs. And acting in a timely manner is a key to minimizing disability from stroke. The campaign also provides clear and simple instructions on how to proceed if you believe that you or someone nearby has suffered a stroke. In 2014, DLKW Lowe revamped the campaign to show the effects of stroke more vividly and to put the issue firmly back in the public eye.

Since the launch of the campaign, Act F.A.S.T. has prevented 4,000 people from serious disability, and has been called “the most effective piece of public advertising ever made.”

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