Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Horror Parody Underlines the Importance of Blood Donors

For its latest campaign, the American Red Cross paired the reality of blood donations with the fictitious world unlocked by the horror movie genre, playfully blending these themes to create a PSA that is aimed at encouraging people to contribute to saving patients’ lives. The idea of putting these two seemingly opposite topics in the same context comes from the minds of the creative people at BBDO New York agency who, alongside director Matt Spicer of production company division7, used a humorous approach and the amazing talent of the Scream franchise’s star, Neve Campbell, to bring “A Bloody Nightmare” to life.

The horror genre is famous for showcasing the protagonists usually making bad decisions — unfortunate choices that lead to a lot of blood being spilled. The scenes are so scary and creepy that they send shivers down the viewers’ spines. Indeed, the film might make them feel frightened but only for a brief time, as they know the movie will end; plus, the plot is only imaginary. So, they enjoy every minute of the film. In fact, 50% of Americans like watching blood spilled in the movies. But blood isn’t for cinema only; it is the fluid of life that at least one in seven patients entering a hospital needs in order to save their lives.

Despite the fact that Americans like to watch such scary scenes involving blood waste, only 3% of them actually donate it. To raise awareness about blood shortage and inspire people to donate life, the organization asks an important question, posed by the 48-year-old actress: “When was the last time you donated blood?” Campbell’s cameo in the organization’s ad comes after the actress made public her decision not to return for the next Scream movie.

Unfortunately, the scream queen almost needed blood for a surgery she had once and has friends and family members who needed transfusions, so she perfectly understands the need and importance of blood donations. “I certainly have known people who have needed blood, my grandmother in particular. I came close to needing blood once during surgery. Had it been necessary, I would have been happy to receive it and grateful to the people who donated it,” commented the Canadian actress.

The campaign was created as a result of the decline in blood donations the American Red Cross is experiencing throughout the summer. Fronted by a one-minute-long horror film parody, the initiative documents the real-life nightmare a blood shortage means, reminding viewers of the good they can do with their own blood. However, for cinephiles, spoiling a film ahead is something scary. And because we don’t want to ruin their experience, we invite them to hit play on the video below to learn about the importance of blood donations and donors in a light-hearted way.


Client: American Red Cross

Agency: BBDO New York

Director: Matt Spicer

Production Company: division7

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