The majority of blood donors are middle aged due to advertising not being effective among youth donors. Young prospective first time donors, with their long-term donation potential, are especially attractive targets for blood agencies. Youth are often underrepresented in donor pools, however; persuading them to give blood may require specifically tailored marketing communication. The first cause of not being effective in advertising towards youth is marketing communication. Blood collection agencies often emphasize altruism. Altruism is the philosophical doctrine that right action is that which provides the greatest benefit to others. Specifically, research demonstrates that established donors who have given blood several times report altruism and awareness of the need for blood as their main reasons for giving (Glynn S.A. 417). In other words, a regular blood donor gives because they want to help others in need, and they act altruistically without expectation of reward.
Altruistic ads focus on the altruistic message of a blood recipient thanking individuals for giving blood to save his/her life. An appeal to self-interest may be more effective in heightening blood donation intentions among youthful donors. The second cause of advertising not being effective is not appealing to individual self-interest. Collection agencies often use a communal message strategy that you should donate because someone close to you may need it. A communal ad features blood donors asking others to join them to help save lives. This communal approach, often receives less attention from donors because people value incentives. There has been little academic research conducted in blood recruitment to further these recommendations and actually test the effectiveness of specific message types in relation to the established profiles. Another contributing cause is the selectivity model, attributes sex differences in information processing to traditional gender roles.
For instance, the male or agentic gender role is characterized by concern for the self (ex., what helps me or is of interest to me?). It is associated with personality traits such as independence and autonomy. Men, who already attend to self-relevant information because of their presumed agentic gender role, should respond even more favorably to a self-benefit message that also invokes a higher degree of self-referencing (Hupfer, 1004). The communal female role, which encompasses concern for both self and others (ex., what interests or helps both me and others?). The personality traits associated with the female are independent and giving. The female role is typified by sympathy, understanding, and sensitivity to others’ needs. These traditional role distinctions lead to sex differences in response to information that is self-relevant or other relevant (Hupfer, 1004). Gender roles, therefore, should be an important determinant of reaction to blood campaigns.
They should indicate that giving blood helps me which is the agentic benefit (Fig 3). Or giving blood helps someone else which is the communal benefit (Fig 4). When an advertising message elicits attention by reflecting on negative outcomes it appears to be more favorable. When advertising message elicits attention by focusing on the positive outcomes it appears to be less favorable. One effect on the economy is when agencies paid people to donate it decreased the blood supply. Economists were skeptical citing a lack of empirical evidence. Since then new data and models have prompted a sea change in how economists think about incentives. Economists have found that offering to pay women for donating blood decreased the number of donators by half. However, letting society contribute the payment to charity reversed the effect.
This psychology here has eluded economists, but it was no surprise to business owners. Rewarding blood donations may backfire; because it suggests that donor is less interested on being altruistic than in making a buck. Incentives affect what our actions signal, whether we’re being self-interested or civic-minded, manipulated or trusted, and they can imply wrongly what motivates the U.S. (Bowles) An increase in unemployment may mean people have more time to give blood, but I doubt it would cause an increase in supply. First, many blood donations are arranged by firms who agree to give employers time off work during the day. Secondly, it is possible that if you are unemployed you are likely to be stressed and don’t feel inspired to give blood. Findings indicate that when donors are eligible to benefit from the day-off incentive (i.e., when they are in paid employment) they make, on average, one extra blood donation per year, a substantial effect that represents a 40% increase (Lacetera).
The decrease in blood supply affects those who have diseases such as sickle cell. There are more than 80,000 people in the U.S. with Sickle Cell, who require blood transfusions. It also affects those who have cancer because chemotherapy consists of needing blood; sometimes on a daily basis. Also car accident victims can require as much as 100 pints of blood (American Red Cross). So if there are shortages of blood, there are not enough lives being saved. Hospitals haven’t had enough blood supply to care for patients with leukemia. It also affects newborns that are faced with having open heart surgery. Most patients who are hospitalized for serious complications and require transplants suffer because of the lack of blood supply in the U.S.
In conclusion, collection agencies should consider appealing to young non-donors by suggesting that they give blood to make it available for themselves. Those who are capable of donating should do so with no questions asked. You never know when you will have a life-threatening event in which you need a blood transfusion to save your life. Researchers should continue to find theories on advertising to appeal to self-interest so that the blood supply in the U.S. will increase; however, the best approach in advertising is appealing to people’s emotion. If everyone would come together as one as they do in elections for blood drives the outcome would be greater.
Fig. 3. Agentic Version of accident scene
Fig. 4. Communal version of accident scene.
American Red Cross (2012). Blood Facts. www. Redcross.org
Bowles, Samuel (March 2009). The Magazine; Harvard Business Review Glynn, S.A., Kleinman, (2002). Motivations to donate blood:. Transfusion, 42, 216-225. Hupfer, M.E. (2006). Transfusion 46(6), 996-1005, Visuals, DOI: 10.1111/j.1537- 2995.2006.00834.x Lacetera, Nicola (n.d.), Icentative Research Foundation. Time for Blood Article.
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