Taiwan Blood Center taps into a creative vein to increase crisis blood donations

Taiwan Blood Center taps into a creative vein to increase crisis blood donations

Medical authorities all over the world look in envy upon Taiwan. It has the highest rate of blood donation – at 7.7% of the population – anywhere in the world. Yet in times of crisis, such as when natural disasters cause high casualty numbers, even Taiwan can run low or even out of certain blood types.

Taiwan Blood Center, in the country’s capital city Taipei, is an unusual choice for the Innovation 50. But it’s highly innovative idea to increase specific blood type donations in real-time when stocks run low has captured our attention.

Tigress Tigress Founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer Meera Sharath Chandra, nominated the medical centre for its ‘Blood Beacon’ campaign created by Wunderman Thompson APAC in 2019.

Meera says, “Taiwan Blood Center’s Blood Beacon is an amazingly innovative and effective campaign. It taps into several insights – how consumers choose their apps, how proximity affects blood donation and how partnering can enhance messaging.”

And ultimately, the campaign has saved lives. Where before Blood Beacon was launched, the average blood shortage time was 35 hours, Blood Beacon has reduced it to just seven hours.

Understanding the donor

The challenge was not increasing volume donations. It was about targeting people with a specific blood type.

The idea adopted by the campaign was so elegantly simple that it provides a model for how other medical authorities could use mobile apps in future to solve a range of similar challenges.

With the second highest level of smartphone penetration in the world, an app seemed the obvious route to reaching donors. Yet the team knew that the average Taiwanese citizen would be reluctant to download yet another app. But what if they could co-operate with an existing popular app used in daily life?

The Taiwanese use navigational apps all the time. So the campaign team co-operated with a parking app used regularly by 2 million people to find parking spaces in Taipei.

Blood Beacon was integrated within this app.

The alert system

When looking for a parking space, the app connects with real-time blood inventory data. An icon appears on the map showing the nearest blood donation centre. If a particular blood type is in demand, the icon flips and alerts users and provides navigation to the nearest blood donation centre.

Meera says, “This idea turns a car parking app into a real-time blood type alert for shortages in the vicinity. It requires no additional download, if there’s no emergency there’s no alert and it makes donations faster, easier than ever before.”

She adds, “Some of the most heartening examples of great work are those that go the extra mile to make things happen. Disparate brands coming together for good.”

And that is why Taiwan Blood Center joins the Innovation 50 list.