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Missing Type

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The number of new blood donors in Britain has declined by 40% in a decade. Since 2010 National Blood Week has been the key time to recruit new donors. Last year there was an urgent need to recruit new donors to safeguard the blood supply for the future as the number of new donors coming forward has plummeted. With over two million blood transfusions per year in England, there is an urgent need to keep the numbers up. 

Donations have fallen across the board, meaning Britain’s National Health Service Blood & Transplant needed to attract donors for every type of blood – so MediaCom needed to capture potential donors’ attention by demonstrating the importance of replacing missing A, O and B blood types. 


  disruptive c mp ign w s required t  sp rk c nvers ti n   nd initi te  eh vi ur ch nge – cre ting new d n r registr ti ns – r ther th n simply r ise  w reness. Missing Type w s the cre tive s luti n: t king the  s,  s  nd  s fr m n mes, pl ces  nd  r nds th t we inter ct with every d y, giving   very visi le imp ct  cr ss the c untry. 

Got that? Let’s make that a bit clearer… A disruptive campaign was required to spark conversation and initiate behaviour change – creating new donor registrations - rather than simply raise awareness. Missing Type was the creative solution: taking the As, Os and Bs from names, places and brands that we interact with every day, giving a very visible impact across the country. 

The idea was for an inclusive movement where anyone or any company could drop the type from the social media profiles, their content and their real-world physical presence. The idea was simple to activate: minimal effort was required to create the desired disruption. 

The idea was for a national movement that turned media companies and brands to become advocates. That took the message out of paid-for advertising units and onto the front page and into the shop window. 

MediaCom's strategy was planned to work across three stages: 

1) Tease & intrigue 
2) Give context & meaning 
3) Retarget & convert to registration. 


On an otherwise typical Monday in August, the agency set about removing As, Os and Bs from the world. The day was kick-started with a roadblock of social video ads, and a breakfast TV PR push for maximum impact.  

Major British & international brands O2, Odeon, Nando's, British Gas, Santander, Tesco, PlayStation, and many more dropped the letters A, O, B from their names in support. Top British soap operas Coronation Street & Emmerdale did the same. Microsoft ran its TV ads with letters removed from the brand on the end-frame.  

Iconic British locations including Downing Street (home of the British Prime Minister), Abbey Road and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch railway station in Wales joined in too. 

Within hours #missingtype was trending on Twitter, as the public realised what was happening and tweeted their support. Hundreds of other brands the agency hadn’t approached then scrambled to get involved, as few things concern a brand social team more than missing out the reflected glory of jumping on a good cause trend.   

The next day MediaCom layered in context and asked for donors. It used TV alongside Facebook, Instagram & YouTube video to extend reach and continued to dominate social through a sponsored Twitter trend.  

The fruit of the campaign was a huge pool of engaged users to follow up with and drive through to the registration process, which was phased over several weeks to manage the logistics of allocating new people into donor sessions. 


The agency smashed the target by 50%: 

In total 30,000 new donors signed up as a direct result of the campaign, which is nearly a sixth of the annual target. 

Traffic to site was 353% higher than in National Blood Week 2015.  

478,480 people engaged with the campaign on Facebook and over 1,000 brands showed their support dropping their As, Os & Bs, generating 178 million earned impressions. 

The campaign received 689 pieces of news coverage on every major British TV news show: BBC News, Channel 4 News, Sky News, ITV regional news, BBC Regional news and Good Morning Britain. There was extensive coverage across most major radio stations and national newspapers. Altogether PR delivered 2.1 billion impacts across print and online.

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NHS Blood & Transplant
Government/Public Sector
United Kingdom
August - September 2016
Media Channel:
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