Over the last 30 years, there have been many campaigns in order to promote blood donation. The purpose and focus of these advertisements has been to promote unpaid volunteers to donate blood. This blood is direly needed to keep blood banks full in order to service individuals who need blood transfusions around the world. Overall, blood donation advertising has been extremely successful in producing the desired effect.
In the past, there was a shortage of younger individuals who were donating blood. Thus, blood donation organizations launched hip and youth focused campaigns in order to encourage these individuals to donate. The campaign focused on television, radio and internet advertising in order to reach youths. Socialblood.org has connected with Facebook to encourage blood donation. Socialblood, which can be seen below, allows you to join groups based upon your blood type. The effect of these efforts has resulted in more youth donating blood and then passing the word along. By word of mouth, the youth of the world are conducting their own advertising campaign to keep efforts alive. Also, there have been jobs created for individuals to be liaisons to high school and college students. These individuals organize and conduct blood drives in high schools, colleges, and even social organizations such as sororities, fraternities, and clubs. This has been money well spent and has resulted in less paid donations.
Blood donation advertising increased due to the need for not just blood, but the need for clean blood. During the 1970s, much of the blood in blood banks came from paid donors. Since the screening process to donate at the time was minimal to non-existent, there was a large risk that blood donors could carry diseases. Many individuals, including drug users and people who did not practice safe sex, donated blood in order to make extra money. In fact, some of these diseases carried by donors were not even discovered or named until later on. Paid donors had tainted the blood supply with diseases such as HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. It was not until the late 1980s that a more extensive method of testing was developed. Now the number of blood donations not tested is extremely slim. Also, many countries have made it illegal to pay donors to donate their blood and rely solely on volunteers to provide blood banks with their supply.
Clean blood donations have drastically impacted people and the economy. By ensuring that blood supply is not tainted, people are receiving much safer blood and are impacted less by life threatening diseases. This also positively impacts the economy by a reduction in lawsuits and settlements. It also keeps insurance costs for diseases contracted through blood transfusions.
Blood donation advertising has increased the number of individuals turning out to donate blood at consistently and during times of need. These individuals are donating their blood in order to help individuals in crisis. Often, advertising is not even needed to encourage individuals to turn out when there is a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood, or tornado. There was a major outpouring during the time following Hurricane Katrina and during last year’s tornados in Alabama and Tennessee.
One of the greatest effects of blood donation advertising and increased donation is the screening of blood for diseases. Individuals are screened for specific illnesses prior to donation, such as anemia. This can result in an individual finding out about a particular illness that may have gone undetected until much later. This can save individuals and insurance companies a lot of money. Thus, it would have a less negative impact on the economy.
Other diseases are screened for after donation. Depending on the organization, individuals will likely be informed if they have a life threatening blood borne disease. This can impact an individual greatly through early intervention or by informing them about a disease that could be impacting them with little to no knowledge of its existence. In fact, hepatitis has may not show any symptoms for decades. By that time most of the damage has already been done. It would most likely present itself as cirrhosis or even liver cancer. The treatment for both can be very costly, such as liver transplant, or even futile.
The reasons for blood donation advertisement focus on raising awareness to different individuals to volunteer their time and blood to help fill local blood banks to capacity. However, the impact and effect of donating is much more long lasting. By donating blood, an individual may not be just giving life to someone else, but life to themselves or even to the economy.
Blood Centers of the Pacific | Media Room | PR Archive 2004 | Press Release Archive 2004. (n.d.). Blood Centers of the Pacific | Find the hero in you. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.bloodcenters.org/media-room/pr-archive-2004/first-national-blood-donation-campaign-launched/ San Jose Blood Bank: Blood Donation | Ads of the Worldâ„¢. (n.d.). Ads of the Worldâ„¢ | Creative Advertising Archive & Community. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://adsoftheworld.com/media/dm/san_jose_blood_bank_blood_donation?size=_original Socialblood leverages Facebook to help you find blood donors – Apps. (n.d.). The Next Web – International technology news, business & culture. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/11/04/indian-startup-socialblood-leverages-facebook-to-help-you-find-blood-donors/ WHO Blood Safety and Availability. (n.d.). World Health Organization. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs279/en/