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Pump up the Volume

How we amplified an ongoing plea for blood

How we amplified an

ongoing plea for blood

donations through integrated campaigns driven

donations through

integrated campaigns

driven by relevance

by relevance over repetition.

over repetition.

The backstory

If you’ve ever lived near a firehouse or railroad tracks, you know it’s not long before you don’t even hear the noise. But when the interruption is an urgent plea to donate blood, allowing it to blend into the background could literally cost lives.

Keeping an ongoing appeal for blood donations fresh and engaging is a challenge ConnectLife, Western New York’s only community blood center, faces every day. Because saying the same thing—no matter how desperately voiced—will eventually fall on deaf ears.

Although ConnectLife wanted to continue trumpeting the region’s urgent need, we knew the true power of marketing exists in its relevance—not repetition. So, we leveraged our audience’s hometown pride, seasonality, and love for one’s neighbor to apply consistent pressure on the community to give blood through a variety of messaging that wouldn’t wither with age.

Agency services:

  • Digital advertising
  • Connected video
  • Broadcast television & radio
  • Social media
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Custom illustration
  • Wearables
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Playing to the home crowd

Unlike the American Red Cross, ConnectLife keeps all blood donations in Western New York. This hyper-local focus is their lead differentiator and aligns perfectly with our audience’s inherent desire to help their neighbors. We just needed to make sure our message hit home without disparaging the competition.

Ownable identity

First, we created a marketing campaign called “Keep it Here.” Bold and direct, we let our audience know that only ConnectLife keeps all blood local. And by saturating our communications in the rich blues of ConnectLife’s brand identity, we created further separation from the Red Cross’ signature red and white. 

Together, messaging and visuals reinforced a look and feel that our client could truly own and leverage to connect with potential donors’ hometown pride.

A change in seasons—and tone

When the winters are long and unforgiving, Western New Yorkers can’t wait to get reacquainted with the great outdoors. But on the flip side of summertime fun are more opportunities for a vehicle, boating, and cycling accidents. That’s why ConnectLife and the rest of the WNY medical community refer to summer as “trauma season.” 

Seasonal relevance

Using seasonal relevance to frame our message on connected television and radio, we were able to communicate the urgent need for blood in a new way without abandoning the core message. 

Since we couldn’t tell the whole story on social, digital, and outdoor channels, we dialed up the intensity of our language to question non-donors lack of participation. 

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Strength in numbers

The pandemic presented an additional challenge for ConnectLife because, at the time, many people were reluctant to leave their homes. But rather than pause the campaign, it was an opportunity to leverage our audience’s heightened dedication to supporting each other to convey the collective impact our community could make by donating blood. 

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Brand Build Out

Here, we extended ConnectLife’s brand assets to include custom illustrations that put a fresh spin on communicating our urgent need for blood. This additional pop of personality balanced the gravity of the message without being perceived as a juvenile. And the new calendar graphic helped to extend our ask from making a single donation to booking several appointments in advance.

So, how'd we do?

Usually, when a client tells you to stop their marketing, it’s not good news. But when we learned that ConnectLife had booked blood donation appointments 60 days out, we were happy to pump the brakes until the client caught their breath.

Blood donations

booked for 60 days

The funnel, the pipeline, the

The funnel, the

pipeline, the hopper-no

hopper—no matter what you call it,

matter what you call

it, we’ll provide the

we’ll provide the care and feeding,

care and feeding, so

so you never call it empty.

you never call it


  • Audience segmentation
  • Demand generation strategy
  • Digital and traditional direct marketing
  • Omnichannel campaigns
  • Marketing automation
  • Campaign optimization and reporting

You want advertising that doesn’t

You want advertising

that doesn’t sound like

sound like “advertising.” So, let’s

“advertising.” So,

let’s create a campaign

create a campaign that engages your

that engages your

audience on a rational level they

audience on a rational

level they expect—and

expect—and an emotional one

an emotional one

they never saw coming.

  • Digital and traditional advertising
  • Building market awareness
  • Audience targeting
  • Campaign testing, measurement, and data analytics

Our Take

Nobody likes to hear people squawk about marketing. So, we wrote it all down for you.

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