NEW YORKThe Advertising Council has joined with AABB, Americas Blood Centers, the American Red Cross and the Rock River Valley Blood Center to launch the blood banking communitys first national, unbranded public education and awareness campaign. Geared toward young adults, the public service advertising (PSA) initiative is designed to raise awareness about the importance of and need for blood donation to foster a new generation of lifelong donors.
Each year, nearly 5 million Americans need a lifesaving blood transfusion, and 38,000 units of blood are needed daily in this country. Critically low inventories nationwide frequently result in public appeals for donations. About 60 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but only 5 percent does. Almost 20 percent of non-donors cite never thought about it as the main reason for not giving. Few people realize that blood has a shelf life of only 42 days or that eligible donors are allowed to give blood every two months (or 56 days). As additional donor restrictions are implemented and the population ages, the country could lose more and more willing donors, which could cause an even greater threat to our national blood supply.
This thought-provoking new campaign was developed to catch the attention of young adults, especially 17 to 24-year-olds, to increase awareness of the need for regular blood donation and to set the foundation for lifelong donor behavior. Created pro bono by ad agency Euro RSCG Worldwide New York, the campaign includes television, radio, outdoor and Internet advertising and directs young adults to visit a new, comprehensive Web site, www.bloodsaves.com, where they can learn more about the need for a robust blood supply and obtain information and resources to help them donate blood in their community.
According to Jennifer Bowman, public relations at RRVBC, this target age group is imperative to the future of the blood supply: The younger generations are simply not as aware of the need for blood donations as their older counterparts. By providing education in a fun and edgy way, we hope to create a future of regular, dedicated blood donors.