Just Why Did London's Downing Street Lose its 'O'?

Campaign for National Blood Week Highlights Missing Blood Types

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Landmarks and companies across the U.K. -- including the famous Prime Ministerial residence Downing Street -- mysteriously dropped letters A, O and B from their names earlier this month. It was all part of a campaign to highlight the need for blood donors in the run up to National Blood Week.

The U.K.'s NHS Blood and Transplant worked with marketing services network Engine on the "Missing Type" campaign, which persuaded organizations, media influencers and companies to drop their letters and tweet photos on social media. The launch started with the Downing Street sign losing its "O" and also saw the Daily Mirror newspaper dropping the A and O from its masthead. Companies including Google, Microsoft, McDonald's and Arsenal Football Club also took part.

NHS Blood and Transplant revealed it was behind the activity when it released a media story highlighting that 40% fewer new donors came forward last year compared to a decade ago.

Jules Chalkley, creative diretor at Engine, told Creativity: "One of the problems we faced creatively was how do you show the problem we're trying to solve? The fall in blood donation, whilst a large issue, is an invisible issue. You can't actually see it. So we wanted to create something that immediately visualised the issue -- something that would show the blood missing from circulation."

The campaign has already resulted in 20,000 more people registering as donors than last year, a three fold increase. The number of registrations has also surpassed all previous National Blood Week campaigns.

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Jun 23, 2015
NHS Blood and Transplant
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