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Give Blood's Rugby World Cup ad encourages viewers to #BleedForEngland

The latest national blood donantion campaign from Give Blood and NHSBT has called on viewers to "support England, in a way that matters".

Give Blood is aiming to recruit 100,000 new blood donors to "do something amazing and bleed for England", in its latest ad which centres around the English rose.

'Bleed for England' sees the emblem being brought back to life from a dying shriveled bloom to full living beauty as blood begins to course through its veins. Voiced by Sir John Hurt, the film warns that “less than three per cent of people support England, in a way that matters".

The 30-second spot was devised by Pablo and production company Squire. Artist David Bayo created the rose by painting the flower with water before dropping a mixture of blood and ink into the brush strokes to represent the flow of blood through a patient's veins during a transfusion.

Spanning several channels the campaign also comprises posters containing the blood of English Rugby World cup winners, including Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson and Ben Kay, as well as films showing the sportsmen giving up their time to swap jobs with unsuspecting donors.

Jon Latham, assistant director, at NHS Blood and transplant praised the "superb idea", and said it would "cut through some other great rugby campaigns and on a small budget deliver a memorable campaign that will make a real difference to thousands of people's lives”.

"It tackles an important health issue at many levels. Through its core message of "#BleedForEngland" it simply lays out the need for new donors and then through dramatic imagery, emotional delivery and at times humour, it delivers the key proposition at many levels," he added.

Gareth Mercer, founder and managing Director, Pablo said his agency set itself the "challenge of inspiring a nation to care enough about strangers to give their time and their blood to really get behind their country.

"It was important for us to practice what we preach and the team at Give Blood, Squire, Finish and Engine together with rugger buggers and members of the advertising community collaborated in the most enjoyable way to create a very special result”.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in social media marketing and wider industry news. Based in Glasgow, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

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