COMMUNITY

Blood donation ad spots aim to change attitudes

PENNY BOULOUTZA

EKEA stresses that what is needed is a steady flow of donations, all the time.

TAGS: Health, Media

An adorable dance move executed by a pair of newlyweds in front of the table with the cake ends in disaster, a guy who thinks he’s something of a superhero turns out to be anything but, and an amateur magician messes up the classic tablecloth trick. These are the scenarios depicted in three funny video clips showing good intentions going wrong in the public awareness campaign “Bloody Useless,” promoting blood donation. The message is simple: You might feel useless sometimes, but you do have something inside you that’s useful. Donate blood and save lives.

The spots were created to promote the National Blood Donation Center (EKEA), and follow last year’s also humorous awareness-raising ad campaign, “Become a Hero,” which saw an average joe coming forward to donate blood after watching the ladies go wild over a fireman, lifeguard and a doctor. While that advertisement may have drawn criticism among health professionals over the buxom nurses it featured, it also went viral on social media and boosted donations – at least for awhile.

EKEA stresses that blood has a short shelf life and surges in donations only have a limited impact. It adds that what is needed is a steady flow of donations, all the time, and a more aware public that is willing to commit to a donation program for the long haul.

The need for blood continues in Greece to be met mainly on a case-by-case basis and usually from the family or friends of a patient, as opposed to most European countries, where 100 percent of supplies come from donors. At current rates, there are around 550,000 units of blood collected every year in Greece, just 55 percent of which comes from people who make regular, voluntary donations.

This year’s EKEA campaign is aimed at expanding the pool of volunteers, by targeting a younger audience, a more active part of society that is still shaping its habits and ideas – and memes, gifs and epic wipeouts are a sure-fire way to get young people to notice.

The “Bloody Useless” clip, by award-winning director Argyris Papadimitropoulos, will be shown on TV and is already on YouTube. The campaign, which was designed pro bono by advertising firm Bold Ogilvy & Mather, also includes stickers, posters and, of course, a Facebook page and #bloodyuseless.

Online