Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Zealand Blood Service uses vampires to lure donors

The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is out for blood, using the current vampire phenomenon to encourage donations.

NZBS teamed up with the New Zealand broadcaster of the show and publishers behind the True Blood television series and novels to boost its donor numbers among vampire fans.

Hachette New Zealand, the publisher of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels - on which the show is based - has added stickers to the covers of books in the series to encourage donors.

Harris was pleased her novels and the show could help inspire New Zealanders to support the cause, NZBS said.

Tickers will be added to the bottom of the screen during the show promoting the blood drive.

New Zealand actress Anna Paquin played the character of Sookie Stackhouse in the show, and won a Best Performance Golden Globe for the role last year.

NZBS marketing manager Paul Hayes said less than 5% of New Zealanders gave blood and the number was declining by 1,000 people each year.

Unlike Harris' vampires, who could survive by drinking synthetic True Blood, there was no alternative for the 3,000 donations needed each week to save lives, he said.