ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant are joining forces again to launch Blood Squad, an appeal for young blood donors to come forward and be ready to save lives when the NHS needs them.
A series of special promos featuring ITV2 favourites Joel Dommett, Emily Atack, Maya Jama and Lady Leshurr, will debut across ITV2 and social media on 20th October.
This year’s campaign, produced by ITV Creative, aims to take the biscuit out of blood donation in a series of tongue in cheek style adverts. The ITV2 Blood Squad urges viewers to ‘Save Lives, grab a biscuit’, in a nod to the complimentary snacks donors are provided with.
We have fantastic and loyal donors who regularly give blood but we need to continue to recruit the young donors of the future, because as we get older, we’re less likely to be able to donate. We’re delighted to be joining forces with ITV2 once again, to highlight the many ways you can help the NHS at this time. Please do something amazing this winter, register to become a donor and book an appointment in the future to start saving lives, especially if you live or work near to one of our donor centres or have recovered from Covid-19 and can donate plasma for someone who is seriously ill.Nadine Eaton, Head of Blood Marketing at at NHS Blood and Transplant
While the Blood Squad is encouraging everyone to register to give blood, specific appeals are being made for black donors and donors who have recovered from COVID-19.
There’s been a sharp spike in hospital demand for blood types more common in black people. This is because improvements in treatment mean more people with sickle cell disease, which is more common in black people, need regular complete blood transfusions to reduce the risk of strokes. Black people are more likely to have the blood types needed by black patients in need, which is why ITV 2 Blood Squad is raising awareness of the important need for more black donors. Only around 1.5 percent of current donors are black and the NHS urgently needs more.
This year, the NHS also need people who have had Covid-19 to sign up to donate their blood plasma for a major research trial, to see if it could save lives. If someone has recovered from COVID-19, the antibodies in their blood plasma stop the virus spreading in someone who is seriously ill with the disease.
ITV has the ability to shape culture for good. We’ve demonstrated that the network can get more people opening up about mental health with our Britain Get Talking campaign and the ITV2 Blood Squad campaign is another great example of how TV can change behaviour and make a real impact. We are hoping that this Black History Month, ITV2 can help make history by getting more black donors signed up to donate blood and also help in the national response to treat those suffering with Covid 19.Clare Phillips, ITV Director of Social Purpose
Over the last two years, ITV have run an award-winning campaign in partnership with NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) which has been incredibly successful at encouraging people to sign up to donate blood. As a direct result of the campaign on ITV2, 50,000 people (many of them 16-34 year old’s) have registered as blood donors. If all of those gave blood just once, it could save or improve the lives of 160,000 people [ES3]
NHSBT need 400 people to register as new donors every day to maintain the blood supply. Almost half the population of blood donors are aged over 45. They are fantastic and loyal but ultimately, NHSBT need to recruit the young donors of the future, because as we get older, we’re less likely to be able to donate
I couldn’t be happier ITV2 are continuing to support this incredible cause. We’ve been hugely encouraged by the positive impact the campaign has had so far and this new iteration, allows us to be a hugely positive force for change whilst still being incredibly playful and true to our own tone of voice. Save lives, Grab A Biscuit. A simple and delicious campaign for a brilliantly rewarding act.Alex Mathieson, ITV2 Creative Director