Every winter, New Zealanders suffer from coughs, colds and a host of other ailments. And, as a consequence, every winter the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) struggles to find enough healthy donors. So, with the help of Insight and Automatic Films, it has launched a new campaign to try and get those who can still donate to open up their hearts, almost literally, and hand over some of the precious red stuff to bump up supplies.
The TV campaign, which is backed by Adshels and online, is split into two parts, the first being ‘Give us a hand’ and the second being ‘Cheers Mate’, which will be given more prominence towards the end of its run.
The creative director was Dan Davis and David Anderson was the account director, with the two spots directed by Mike Oldershaw and Johnny Blick, who did the filming before venturing overseas for a couple of weeks to film the new Dairy NZ spot, before returning to finish these off.
Because of illness and other factors, NZBS marketing manager Paul Hayes says there’s a natural churn in the database, so it needs to recruit around 20,000 new donors every year. And, at the end of the day, he says “TV advertising is the most effective thing we do”.
There was a decline in new donor numbers of over 20 percent in the past year compared to the previous year, so it’s hoped this campaign, which aims to bring donors and recipients together, will help encourage more new donors to come on board.
Hayes says NZBS runs ads on TV for seven weeks of the year, with a bit of a drive every winter and a follow up in the summer holidays. And this campaign is running for an initial flight of four weeks, followed by alternate weeks in October.
He says there’s been a very positive response to the campaign so far, with double the number of calls received on the day it was released and more than 100 text messages from interested parties.
While trying to get 20,000 new donors every year seems like a difficult enough task, it’s made even more difficult because it’s not considered a full-blown charity gig. Hayes says NZBS used to fit into TVNZ’s charity allotment a few years ago, but the rules have changed, so this campaign is now part of a paid job with the associated commercial costs of making and showing an ad involved. In saying that, he says the Automatic Films folk did it for half the normal fee and the song, Violet Light, was generously contributed free of charge by Canadian band Raised By Swans.