Creative in association withGear Seven

American Red Cross Reminds Horror Fans Blood Isn’t Just for Movies in Donation Drive PSA

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
Actress Neve Campbell stars in the BBDO New York horror spoof encouraging more people to donate blood

Blood donation saves lives, but the summer months are typically very challenging for blood collection. High schools and colleges, which account for about 25% of blood drives, are closed and many regular donors are busy travelling throughout the summer. This leads to severe blood shortages in July and August, and the pandemic has only made things worse. To help break through and attract first-time donors, we needed to do something different.

One of the most exciting things about the summer is all the new movie releases. Everyone gets excited about them, especially when it comes to horror movies. And people in horror movies make lots of bad decisions, usually leading to lots of wasted blood. So we saw an opportunity.

Known for her starring role in one of the most successful horror movie franchises in history, BBDO New York partnered with Neve Campbell. With her help, the team created a humorous and entertaining PSA campaign that leans into typical horror movie tropes and the very predictable ways that horror movie characters tend to die. BBDO called the PSA 'A Bloody Nightmare', not because of the scenes that we’re showing, but because there’s a blood shortage and not enough people are donating blood. A fact that is underscored by the important message our PSA delivers; 50% of Americans like watching blood spilled in movies, but only 3% actually donate it. Blood isn’t just for movies, it saves lives.

To help get our message across in social media, BBDO New York also created static posts and an Instagram filter that predicts the cliché horror movie death that awaits you, encouraging you to not waste your blood by dying in a predictable horror movie way, and to donate your blood instead.

“We knew we had a script that would stand out, but the people that helped us bring it to life really took it to the next level. We had a Hollywood director, the director of photography of the latest season of Stranger Things, and one of the most well known stars in the horror movie genre, on top of some amazing production partners.” said Victor Roa, creative director, BBDO New York.

“From the beginning, we knew that we did not want people tuning out as soon as they realised they were watching a PSA about blood donation. We wanted to keep everyone entertained by creating something fun and unexpected from the American Red Cross, all while encouraging them to donate blood and save lives.” said Roberto Danino, SVP creative director, BBDO New York.

“This summer the Red Cross is experiencing a dramatic decrease in the number of donations coming in, yet the need for blood continues. It’s critical that we expand our message and reach new audiences to both educate and motivate them to become blood donors -- but that’s difficult to do in today’s fragmented media environment and endless content.  By tapping into audiences’ passion for horror movies and using Neve Campbell’s star power, we hope to break through the noise to inspire a new generation of blood donors.” said Selma Bouhl, VP marketing Red Cross.

“I know that there’s a great need for blood. Whether people need surgery, or they’ve had an accident or they’re giving birth, hospitals always need blood. It’s important that people know how dire the situation is, but it’s also important for them to know what a great gift it is. I hope people enjoy this PSA and get out there to donate.” said actress Neve Campbell.

Agency / Creative