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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
175 Bloor Street East, North Tower
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R9
+416 925 5997

Margaret Arnold

SVP, Director, Human Resources

EVP David Kennedy


Lisa Morch

VP, Director of Knowledge Mgmt

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Leo Burnett Change Asks You to ‘Breathe’ for Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Young children often challenge each other to hold their breath — at the pool, through tunnels, to the count of 30. What might seem like an easy thing to do above ground is not so effortless when faced with a real threat of drowning in open water. That’s the message the Royal National Lifeboat Institution hopes to convey in its new video “Breathe” by Leo Burnett Change, Leo Burnett London’s agency focused on producing work with social impact.

RNLI hopes to halve coastal fatalities by 2024 by educating the public on the threats of the British and Irish waters. Cold-water shock can steal your breath and numb your limbs, rendering the ability to hold your breath useless in the face of a real threat. While the average person can hold his or her breath for 45 seconds above water, cold water can decrease one’s ability to merely 10 seconds.

The organization also aims to educate the public on the threats of drowning that can occur when you aren’t even in the water. These accidents can happen when you’re walking, running, climbing and boating and encounter slippery rocks, unstable ground or unexpected waves — which account for nearly half of drowning incidents.

“Breathe” conveys this powerful message through an intense, interactive experience, asking viewers to hold their breath, then breathe, then hold it again, all while watching a person struggle to stay above water.

The video “Breathe” is part of the #RespecttheWater campaign, which also includes outdoor posters, a social campaign, digital displays, radio ads, experiential collateral, a safety roadshow, tailored safety programs and a microsite experience at