Blood Saves The World

“It’s hard to save the world. Saving a life is. Donating 1 pint of blood can save up to 3 lives. Maybe someone you know.” That’s the line given in a campaign to motivate young adults to consider donating blood as an active way to change the world. Two North American TV ads, “Charlie” and “Julie”, outline the efforts of activists to change their environment through activism – protesting about worker exploitation and environmental pollution. Despite their efforts, social activism seems to be more complicated than they bargained for. And then the silent but simple message quoted above, with an invitation to visit the web site:

Julie in Blood Saves TV Ad

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

The site itself,, is highly interactive with plenty of flash animation, facts, motivation, ‘how to start’, myths, and of course the two TV ads in Quicktime format.

As the people who have commented below have noted, this site sets up giving blood as a much more realistic way of ‘saving the world’ than involvement in social action. I would suspect that the creatives behind this campaign were responding to the perceived cynicism of Gen X and Millennial young adults. Giving blood is to be taken out of the category of ‘useless action’, while other counter cultural action is confirmed as pointless. It’s a pity one candle should be made to burn brighter by blowing out other candles.

Filed under: Commercials, Interactive


  • Anonymous

    I find this ad highly suspect. It appears to be right wing in nature i.e. in an effort to change environmentalists efforts and for them “to simply fit into the norm.” Don’t try to save the rainforest; don’t question the status quo. Just give blood, and Americas neo-cons will take care of the rest.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the comment before this. The ad I saw on TV completely disgusted me. In fact, I got online today only to find their website and write a big old complaint to them. However, the website conveniently lacks any way of contacting them.

    The main problem I have is that this ad attempts to tell young activists that they can’t beat Big Business so they shouldn’t even try. It’s trying to tell them they will get nowhere because we’re so set on the track to destruction that no amount of protesting will stop these corporations from destroying our environment and exploiting children in other countries. It tells these young people that they can’t change anything so they shouldn’t even try. Instead, just go give a little blood now and then and feel content like you did your part. It’s sending the message that giving just a little bit is enough and that as long as you go give blood you shouldn’t have to feel like you have any other responsibility to the world. As if the youth aren’t already apathetic enough! We need to be teaching them the complete opposite. EVERYONE born on this earth has the RESPONSIBILITY to do what they can to maintain and better the earth for the future generations. People in the United States do so little as it is when compared with the ecological damage they cause in their lifetimes. We need to encourage activism, rather than discourage it.

    Now just something quick about the comment the person made before me about this sounding very right-wing. I have to agree with that and it makes sense. Despite popular belief, the United States is not a democracy but rather a corporate-run government. It operates under the illusion of a democracy in order to keep it’s people feeling empowered. In all truth, corporate interests define government policy. Take a look at these commercials. Both were sending the message, “do not question corporate environmental or ethical problems. It will do nothing to help if you protest. Instead, be happy giving blood and give up fighting for a clean environment or ethical work practices.” It’s trying to get people to shift their focus from corporate responsibility to giving blood and feeling good about yourself. It’s an undisguised diversionary tactic which sadly, most people will not even pick up on. But my point was that Big Business is generally Republican and it would be in Big Business’ interests to convince people to quit writing them complaining about their child sweatshops and environmental decimation. So in my mind this commercial reeks of Republican influence. Not to mention I saw it aired on NBC, a company with strong ties to the Republican party.

    Just remember, people…TV is NOT TRUTH. The news you hear is NOT NECESSARILY TRUTH. And especially…don’t believe the commercials you see.

  • Anonymous

    I just saw this pair of commercials for the first time tonight and they made me so mad for the exact same reasons the other two posters are mad. I had the experience as the person commenting immediately before me — I tried to go to the web site to comment and found no way to contact anyone. Now I’m just surfing the net looking for any public forum in which I can vent my disgust and anger.

  • Foolishness, the blood saves ad’s are simply acknowledging the complexity of environmental issues. It’s not a matter of being right wing or left wing; rather it’s a matter or being reasonable. Any reasonable person will clearly note that environmental issues are very multifaceted. Complex issues which call for cool headed leaders to produce rational solutions to finding efficient levels of pollution and other environmental costs borne by society. Truthfully I think that many of these anonymous protestors are simply so heated and bothered about these issues that a mere whisper of George W or Big Business will ignite their ranting for hours on hand. While much of this energy is well intentioned they do however go too far and place words and ideas where they are not, such as in the blood saves ad.

  • Anonymous

    These ads go beyond ‘acknowledging complexity’. They revel in the ‘impossibility’ of social justice, discredit the efforts of activists, and ignore social justice successes. If wealthy people could just buy blood these ads wouldn’t even exists.