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©2019 by Synergy Print Management. 

Blood Bank Mug

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Johannesburg

Client: South African National Blood Service

Product: Blood Bank

Country: South Africa


South Africa had one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world. Each Christmas, as many as 1,000 road-users died in accidents. In order to be prepared for the annual carnage, when hospitals around the country would all be in urgent need of blood, the task was to create a mailing that would encourage South African businesses to help.


Senior personnel within the HR departments of large businesses were mailed a mug. When hot water was poured into it, the red heat-sensitive glaze disappeared to reveal the message: We’re running out of blood. Please donate.

The letter asked the HR Director for a day and a time when the Mobile Blood Unit could come and set up to take blood from the company’s staff. The mug served as a constant reminder of the problem, that South African hospitals always need blood, and encouraged further donation.


The response to the Direct Mail campaign was tremendous. Blood donations from the corporate sector increased by 26% over the period from November to January. This translated into hundreds of lives being saved thanks to blood transfusions.

Synergy says

Return on idea is when you look for so much more than just bottom-line results. It’s when you set out to create an emotional response as well as a transactional one. This simple idea had a video to go with it and while the mailing went out to just 500 potential customers, the video has had nearly half a million views on YouTube. Not bad for a product that must be among the least interesting on the planet.

Creative Team

Creative Director: Rajesh Ranchod

Art Director: Olivia Tesson

Copywriter: Lawrence Katz

To binge on your own beautifully printed and bound copy collection of these campaigns simply drop Andrew a line with your postal address to Please put 'ROI request' in the subject line. Have a thoroughly creative day!