Week Six- Irish Blood Transfusion Service

By Richard McNeill, Director of Resolution OMD Ireland

OMD Ireland created a marketing campaign that saved lives. Now that’s a purpose.

Cannes_-_IBTS

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) requires a steady supply of blood donations to help save lives. Historically, major sporting events cause a massive drop in blood donation levels, as the key donor demographic become distracted by their passion for sport.

During the Euro Cup, the IBTS saw a dramatic decrease in donations of 20%, or 600 units, which lead to dangerous shortages. TV was the obvious answer but with a budget of €4000, this was not an option. However, the Euro Cup was also predicted to be the largest dual screen event ever – so TV could still be leveraged.

Real-time targeting

For the first time ever in the Irish market, innovative TV-syncing technology was used to uniquely target the station stings at the start of each ad break during the World Cup programme. This triggered activity on mobile and tablet devices at precise moments in the match when dual-screening was at a peak. Creative was tailored to each team, and updated for every game and stage of the tournament, linking the events on the pitch directly to blood donation themes, and serving as a perfect real-time reminder to “Give Blood Now”.

Making time to donate

Using bespoke TVadSync technology OMD Ireland synchronised online messaging on mobile devices with the live TV broadcast. By live-syncing ads to purely the breaks in the football coverage OMD could take advantage of the benefits of multi-screening. Pushing the blood donation messages, with match specific creative, at the moments during ad breaks when users were likely to be online on their smart devices, and weren’t going to be pulled back to the TV for a few minutes, allowed time for people to book a donation appointment.

The real winners

As the World Cup broadcasts started, donations dropped by a frightening 34%. However within days of the campaign launch, the drop reversed and donations returned to normal levels. Amazingly, two of the highest donation days over the last three years occurred during World Cup 2014.

The real impact was that 2,000 units of blood flowed through the Irish health services that would otherwise have been lost, meaning that the real winners were those who found themselves in need of a blood transfusion.

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