NHS Blood & Transplant Campaign

NHS Blood & Transplant needed to increase blood stocks by 30% for the Olympics, to cope with the increased visitors in the country and the distraction and disruption to donation sessions during the Games. The availability of sessions and the 35 day shelf life of red blood cells meant that a gradual, sustained increase in blood stocks was required, as opposed to one sharp uplift.

•    Recruit, reactivate and remind donors to donate before the Olympics
•    Drive awareness of the need for people with vulnerable blood types to come forward
•    Maintain media interest in the appeal over a sustained period of time to deliver a steady stream of donors into the system

Strategy and plan:
Team Give Blood was devised as the campaign theme. Offering an accessible way for new and existing donors to join the effort, Team Give Blood tapped into the national fervour and sporting mindset of the summer.

A series of tactics were designed to build the messaging, with a segmented media strategy to keep interest and awareness high over the three month campaign.

The Olympic stock build appeal was launched to print and online media in April with striking imagery of eight blood donors, body painted with the circulatory system and shot in iconic London locations. NHSBT provided case studies of blood donation recipients from across the country to give the story a regional angle and tailored broadcast packages were created for national and regional TV and radio.

In May, eight celebrities were unveiled as captains of Team Give Blood, with each championing one of the eight blood types. Captains were chosen to appeal to a wide variety of ages and demographics and included Gary Lineker, Greg James, Saira Khan and Twin B. The images were sent to national and online media and celebrities were asked to tweet to their followers with messaging for their blood type.  

June saw Red warning against a fall in stocks during the Euros, working with Made in Chelsea’s Rosie Fortescue to recreate the famous Rosie the Riveter image for National Blood Week, and holding a special blood donation session with Beefeaters and case studies at the Tower of London for World Blood Donor Day.

Exclusive imagery and behind the scenes video content was created for social media at each stage of the campaign and used in to rebrand the NHSBT’s social media channels and blood.co.uk website,. An ongoing case study placement programme ensured media coverage continued to appear between each stage of activity.



Measurement and evaluation:
958 pieces of mainstream media coverage secured overall, with 140 pieces of broadcast including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Daybreak, the Today Programme and Five Live. National coverage included the Sun, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Metro and Guardian.

Calls to NHSBT increased by 29% and website traffic doubled following the campaign launch. The campaign reached 80% of UK adults and received over 10,000 mentions on social media, with NHSBT hitting their 30% stock build target in time for the Olympics.

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