Canadian Blood Services asks: ‘What would you do?’

The blood agency has launched a new campaign to increase donors, and is testing the effectiveness of the new media channels it's added to the mix.

Canadian Blood Services has launched a new campaign in an attempt to increase its active donors – those that have donated blood at least once within the past 12 months – from 400,000 to 427,000. The marketing drive will include OOH, spots at movie theatres, print ads, radio spots and online advertising. DDB Canada handled the creative, while OMD was in charge of the media plans and buys.

The campaign, entitled ‘What would you do?’ attempts to make a personal connection with its target demo by telling the story of two Canadians who require blood. There is Deborah, who suffers from a life-threatening blood disease, and Lily, a baby girl who requires corrective surgery. The marketing drive is a build on last year’s ‘Because’ campaign, which was also created by DDB Canada.

The campaign, which targets adults 34 to 50, began last week with posters in health clubs and doctors’ offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Halifax, Victoria, Kelowna and St. Catharines. Radio spots also started last week and will run for the rest of the year. On May 11, 30-second spots will begin airing at movie theatres across the country. And bringing up the rear, print ads will run in Metro in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax beginning in October.

According to Jeff Moats, director of marketing at Canadian Blood Services, the agency usually spends two-thirds to three-quarters of its advertising budget on radio spots. ‘This is really the first year where we’ve gone beyond our typical radio strategy. We said to ourselves: ‘it’s time to take an integrated approach.” The various forms of advertising will feature unique phone number extensions and URLs so that the agency can gauge which media and which creative were the most successful.

The campaign will be followed up with promotion of Canadian Blood Services’ new online booking process, where donors can book their appointments on the agency’s website. The agency will run an online campaign touting the new feature from October to December. Media placement has not yet been finalized.