New Zealand Blood Service
"The World’s Biggest Reserve Bench"

Client: New Zealand Blood Service
Product: New Zealand Blood Service
Title: The World’s Biggest Reserve Bench
Media: TVC
Country: New Zealand
Date Of Campaign: 13th August - 24th September

Background: It’s hard to get people to donate. Especially when the donation you need can’t be given by half the population, can’t be incentivised, only lasts 35 days before it expires, takes at least an hour to give, and you have to wait three months to donate again. That’s the challenge faced by NZ Blood Service, the sole provider of blood and blood products. Every 18 minutes, someone needs lifesaving blood, but only 3.7% of Kiwis are donors. We needed to appeal for help, but because of the limited lifespan of blood, we had to ensure we didn’t create an influx of immediate donations. As a nation, we’re good at stepping up for each other. But with blood donation, unless you’ve been personally impacted, it’s easy to forget that hospitals rely entirely on the generosity of donors to do their job. This was a big task that required a disruptive solution. We needed to elevate awareness about the critical service that NZ Blood Service provides and engage more Kiwi’s, especially eligible men, to register to donate. The fact is, men aged 35-50, are better donor candidates due to the fact they have more blood volume and better veins. They also have fewer periods of ineligibility due to low iron, pregnancy and breastfeeding. There’s a language that almost all Kiwi men understand – rugby. And the backbone of any great sports team? The reserve bench.

Idea: With this in mind, we created a completely new way to recruit blood donors – The World’s Biggest Reserve Bench. With a little help from the Godfather of reserve benches, Sir Graham Henry we asked Kiwis to step up and join the Bench, committing to donating blood when the country needs them.

Results: The campaign had a unique reach of over 2 million people, resulting in 96,000 new donation enquiries, with 6,000 people joining the Bench in the first 3 days. All this was achieved on amedia spend of just NZD150,000, making it the most successful recruitment campaign NZ Blood Service have ever run.

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