As the Rugby World Cup begins, countless U.K. brands are capitalizing on the tournament, with current and ex-rugby stars popping up in ads all over the place. This idea, from the NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT), stands out in that it actually uses blood from rugby players to create ads for the campaign.
As well as this TV spot voiced by actor Sir John Hurt featuring a shrivelled rose (the symbol of the England rugby team) that gradually blooms as it's infused with blood, there's also an online film featuring former England players Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Ben Kay, Matt Dawson and Jason Leonard. The players are shown donating a small amount of their blood that artist David Bayo, mixes with red ink and water to create a blood rose artwork. The resulting imagery will be used in the campaign's outdoor poster executions.
The campaign is by newly launched agency Pablo, with production by Squire, whose director Simon Stock shot the rose commercial.
Using real blood in advertising has been done by several advertisers recently, including Brazilian NGO GIV. Austrian magazine Vangardist also printed 3000 copies using HIV positive blood.