Ad of the month: NHSBT – Bleed for England

by Stratton Craig

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The Rugby World Cup is in full swing but England, the hosts, have crashed out of their own party at the first opportunity.

Pathetic, unpatriotic, useless. However you want to describe their performance it is understandable that you might be feeling a little unenthused about the whole thing right now. Your job of cheering England on the field is over, but as NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) current campaign (below) shows, your job as a supporter of its residents is not.

The TV slot focuses on a rose dripping in blood and the imagery is genuinely powerful. But it is the words that resonate more.

“Less than three percent of people support England in a way that matters. We need 100,000 new blood donors. So… do something amazing. Bleed for England.”

The campaign has had its critics, as many striking adverts generally do. The message is powerful and simple, hitting all the right notes. With support from Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Dawson and other ex-England legends it has influence as well as significance. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Sussex Cricket Club have also put their weight behind the campaign on Twitter, highlighting how it has captured the attention of a wider sporting audience.

There may be some people arguing that it should be ‘Bleed for the UK’ to incorporate all of the Home Nations, but the devolved nature of the NHS means that blood isn’t collected operationally across the whole of the UK. As a result it was impossible to run such a campaign.

At the time of writing, the NHSBT had reached 67 percent of its 100,000 donor target before 31st October, the day of the World Cup final. The campaign looks set to smash that target and as a direct result lives could be saved. Powerful indeed.

What do you make of the Bleed for England ad? You can let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting @strattoncraig.


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