NHS Blood
Missing Type

A world without the letters A, O, B During National Blood Week 2015, NHS Blood and Transplant launched a disruptive campaign to capture the nation’s attention and highlight the need for new blood donors. ‘Missing Type’ removed the As, Os and Bs from media, brands, high profile places and famous street signs.


The number of new blood donors has declined 40% in a decade.

National Blood Week is the key time to recruit new donors. In 2015 there was an urgent need to recruit new donors to safeguard the blood supply for the future as the number of new donors coming forward has plummeted. To attract new donors we had to capture their attention by demonstrating the importance of replacing missing A, O and B blood types.


A disruptive campaign was required to spark conversation and initiate behaviour change – creating new donor registrations – rather than simply raise awareness. Missing Type was the creative solution: taking the As, Os and Bs from names, places and brands that we interact with every day. The idea was for an inclusive movement where anyone could drop the type from the social media profiles and content. The idea was simple to activate: minimal effort was required to create the desired disruption.


Building the big picture from small insights.

Engine and MediaCom worked closely with all agencies (Carat – Buying, 23red – Brand Partnerships, twentysix – Organic Social) to ensure all communications fit into the overarching strategy. Our strategy had three phases: 1) Tease and intrigue, 2) Context and meaning, 3) Retarget and convert to register.

We planned a tease phase consisting of a massive burst of earned media in the days building up to National Blood Week. Odeon, Waterstones, O2, Santander, Now TV and Green & Blacks all dropped A, O, B letters from their names, and the Cabinet Office agreed to change the Downing Street sign.

We used media partnerships to explain the meaning behind the campaign. For the first time in history The Daily Mirror dropped the A and O from its masthead in print & online, supported with case-study based features appearing on launch day. We also sponsored The Metro’s Good Deed Feed for the week of the campaign across print and on tablet.

Digital and social channels provided a huge pool of engaged users to retarget and drive further down the registration process. In a major innovation NHS Blood & Transplant also became the first UK advertiser to use Instagram carousel ads with bespoke copy linking back to the site.


30,000 new donors – 20,000 more than National Blood Week 2014.

Traffic to from social media sources increased by 353% year on year, with 9,000 registrations coming from Facebook and Twitter retargeting.

478,480 people engaged with the campaign on Facebook & 1,000 brands showed their support.

Social media activity & 689 pieces of news coverage delivered 2.1 billion impacts.

Awards and Recognition

  • Festival of Media Global | Grand Prix: Campaign of the Year
  • Festival of Media Global | Gold: Best Communications Strategy
  • Festival of Media Global | Gold: Best Not-For-Profit Campaign