Unseen Emergencies the focus of new campaign from NZ Blood Service and YoungShand


In recent years, New Zealand has endured many high-profile emergencies as a nation, from the Christchurch Mosque attacks to the more recent Whakaari White Island eruption. With up-to-the-minute updates across local and international news platforms, these emergencies galvanise us to take action.


In the face of tragedy, Kiwis are overwhelmingly responsive, inundating the NZ Blood Service with offers to donate blood or plasma. But, the reality is 83 New Zealanders per day will experience an unseen emergency and need lifesaving donations. A trip to the dentist, pregnancy and giving birth, or a nosebleed can all end in a life-threatening emergency.

Says Asuka Burge, national marketing and communications manager, NZ Blood Service: “New Zealanders are amazing at coming together during a national crisis.

Unseen Emergencies the focus of new campaign from NZ Blood Service and YoungShand

“During times like Whakaari White Island or the Christchurch Mosque attacks, we’re always amazed by the offers to donate blood or plasma. But the reality is, we need people to commit to ongoing, regular donations to meet demands.”

The new brand campaign ‘Unseen Emergencies’, developed by YoungShand, focuses on life-threatening scenarios faced by Kiwis, each story inspired by a real medical emergency. Launching during the most-watched hour of television –1 News at 6pm – the series of short films bring viewers into the centre of five unseen emergencies as they take place across Aotearoa, ending with the rallying cry for support – Don’t wait to save a life.

At some point in their lifetime, every New Zealander may need blood or plasma, but less than 4% of eligible Kiwi adults actively donate. Research has shown that we understand the need, but the evidence shows that it has to feel closer to home. To turn apathy into action, the new campaign aims to shine a light on unseen emergencies, inspiring New Zealanders to donate regardless of whether an emergency makes the news.

Unseen Emergencies the focus of new campaign from NZ Blood Service and YoungShand

Says Anne Boothroyd, ECD, YoungShand: “Through the use of real unseen emergencies, we want to reiterate the importance of donors committing to ongoing, regular donations, not just when a story hits the news.

“Because when we face our own unseen emergency, we’re relying on the generosity of someone else to save our life – it could happen to any of us.”

With at least 30,000 more donors needed in the next year to meet the demand for blood and plasma, the campaign is asking all eligible Kiwis to show up for the unseen emergencies, as well as the highly visible ones, because 83 Kiwis need our help every single day.

Says Emma Dalton, GM, YoungShand: “Our long-standing partners, NZ Blood Service, helped us to unearth the data and real stories that inspired the campaign. Delivered through our integrated Strategy, Creative, Media and Tech teams, the news takeover is supported by a mix of outdoor, digital, social, radio and ongoing TV. The whole project was made possible with the help of production partners, Film Construction and Radiate.”

Unseen Emergencies the focus of new campaign from NZ Blood Service and YoungShand

Additional statistics:
● Every 18 minutes, someone will need lifesaving blood.
● Every day, two babies in New Zealand will need lifesaving blood or plasma
● Every day, 43 elderly New Zealanders need lifesaving blood or plasma
● Every week, 35 pregnant women or their babies will need lifesaving blood or plasma
● Every month, 108 NZ Youth (aged 15 to 24) will need lifesaving blood or plasma.
● That’s 25 every week, or 4 every day.
● Every month, 177 Kiwi children under the age of 15 will need lifesaving blood or plasma. That’s 6 children every day.
● Every week, 117 New Zealanders will have a life-threatening accident and need lifesaving blood or plasma.
● Every month, 659 New Zealanders battling cancer will need lifesaving blood or plasma

Agency – YoungShand
ECD – Anne Boothroyd
CD – Scott Maddox
Art Director – Jack Wadham
Copywriter – Karla Tarr
Designer – Elliot Oxborough
Senior Designer – Ryan Overeem

General Manager – Emma Dalton
Campaign Public Relations – Rebecca Lawson
Senior Account Director – Clare McCracken
Account Manager – Jayden Lam

Strategy & Experience Director – Ryan Sproull
Senior Planner – Marie-Claire Manson

Production Director – Nigel Sutton
Executive Digital Producer – Kat Cox
Digital Producer – Ben Marriott

Head of Media – Andrea Long
Digital Strategist – Chris Kalkandis
Media Planner/Buyer – Janelle Fernandes
Media Executive – Aidyn Lin
Digital Campaign Manager – Codie Vincent
Digital Campaign Exec – Mady Johnson

Client – NZ Blood Service
National Marketing and Communications Manager – Asuka Burge
Marketing Services Manager – Irene van Schalkwyk
Marketing Coordinator – Holly Frankham
Marketing Coordinator – Nephi Arthur
Marketing Communications Advisor – Francesca Chan

Production Company – Film Construction
Director – Perry Bradley
Producer – Leah Oram
Executive Producer – Belinda Bradley

Post Production – Radiate
Editor – Alex O’Shaughnessy
Grade – Pete Ritchie
Sound Design – David Liversidge

Photographer – Belinda Bradley
Retoucher – Kevin Hyde

Network Communication
Managing Director – Sandy Trigg