The South African National Blood Service started a campaign to raise awareness about the need for certain blood types ahead of World Blood Donor Day.
The campaign, which began on 11 and will end on 18 June, requested South African brands and organisations to remove the letters A, B and O from their names. The concept is a part of the international Missing Type campaign which sees companies all over the world removing the letters A, B and O from their names to show how important they are, similar to how important blood donation is.
Since it launched globally a few years ago, the initiative has notched up phenomenal success, spurring thousands of new blood donors to sign up worldwide. The blood service hopes this ‘disappearing act’ will similarly encourage more people to become donors as currently, only one per cent of South Africans donate blood.
The blood service’s chief marketing officer Silungile Mlambo said, “Imagine life without the letters A, B and O. South African big business has the power to change the fact that our country faces constant blood shortages and save lives at the same time.
“We’re asking local brands, sports teams, corporates and landmarks to tweak their logos and ‘donate’ their As, Bs and Os for just a week. Deleting the letters of the main blood groups from your company’s name in your adverts, email signatures and other marketing material is a fun and interactive way to raise awareness of South Africa’s urgent need for new blood donors.
“It really is critical for the SANBS to replenish blood stocks at this time of year, with the school holidays just around the corner. This will inevitably cause a spike in the demand for blood transfusions,” said Mlambo.
He said sports teams will also be asked to throw their support behind the campaign, while the public can get involved by deleting the ‘blood types’ from their names on social media from 11 to 18 June.
Corporates that have already signed up to participate include Outsurance, which will become _utsur_nce, Famous Brands will become F_m_us _r_nds, Varsity Cup will be V_rsity Cup and Lions will be Li_ns.
“If you think about it, a South Africa without A, B and O would just be S_uth _fric_. It just wouldn’t be the same. However, with the help of the private sector and the public, we can fill in the blanks in our blood supply and keep stocks at healthy levels,” concluded Mlambo.
Details: South African National Blood Service www.sanbs.org.za; 080 011 9031.
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