Bloody Clever

Posted October 16, 2013, under Ad Absurdum, Gosh, That's Handy!

WARNING: If the sight of blood makes you uncomfortable, this probably isn’t the Lunch Meat for you. Either way, you might not want to read it before or during a meal.

Still with us? Congratulations on your iron constitution. Today we’re going to talk about blood in advertising. 


Seeing Red

Want to impinge on your audience? Throw some blood around! It’s such a staple of horror movies that a word was coined to describe it: Gorn.

Advertising also takes advantage of this. We could do this whole article using only selections from campaigns for HBO’s True Blood. But that work has been so high-profile, we figure it’s been bled dry. Instead, let’s go further afield.

Seeing disturbing trends in accident statistics, the Bangalore Traffic Police decided in 2010 to fight gore with gore. They commissioned a series of ads to illustrate the danger of talking while driving, targeting not the drivers themselves, but the loved ones on the other end. 

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These ads put us off using phones altogether.

Then there’s blood donation. Chronic shortages worldwide mean organizations such as the Red Cross expend considerable effort to encourage donors. The ads run the gamut of funny to poignant, and because the need for blood is universal, they transcend language and culture.

NOTE: If these ads have inspired you to donate blood, the Red Cross website is a good starting point.


Bleeding Edge

In the printing world, sometimes you want to bleed.

When elements are intended to extend to the edge of the page, printing is done on oversized paper that is then cut down to size. During the printing, cutting and folding process, the paper can shift.

Having those elements extend beyond the cut – “bleeding” – prevents the possibility of an unwanted white streak on the edge.