Communications Agency Brighton and Sussex
Photo Credit: Ciaran McCrickard / NHS Brighton & Hove

Martha commissioned ‘Trigger Happy TV’ prankster Dom Joly to film undercover for a ‘not QUITE an emergency’ earned media and social media campaign, designed to raise awareness of the NHS 111 helpline and reduce inappropriate A&E attendances.

Shot in town, village and city centre locations across Sussex, the campaign video shows a heavily disguised Dom blighted by various minor ailments that he refuses to accept aren’t worthy of being considered a medical emergency.

Hidden cameras capture him seeking support from unsuspecting members of the public, before pretend paramedics arrive on the scene and NHS staff dressed as giant blue 1s appear walking about in the background.

As the first creative NHS film using pranking, the #notanemergency video captured significant public and media attention.

BBC Sussex’s News Editor referred to their Facebook page ‘going bonkers’ after the BBC posted the film on launch day.

The Results

  • Media coverage with an audience reach of 32.5 million
  • 15 BBC and ITV regions ran broadcast interviews with Dom Joly
  • 140k earned views of campaign video
  • 50k video views on BBC Sussex Facebook in first 24hrs
  • 37% increase in calls to NHS111 in Sussex
  • 50% drop in the number of ‘inappropriate’ A&E attendances by 18-25 year-olds
  • Over 20 NHS CCGs across the country used the video in the run-up to Xmas

Award wins

  • Winner of CIPR Public Sector Campaign of the Year 2016
  • Winner of HSJ Value in Communication Award 2016
  • Highly Commended PR Week Small Budget Campaign of the Year 2016
  • Highly Commended PR Moments Public Sector Campaign of the Year 2016

"A degree of risk was taken in the choice of tactics, demonstrating creativity whilst maintaining brand reputation"

CIPR Excellence Awards Judging Panel