Blood Donation Hourglass

September 2006

The brief: The whole of China is in lack of blood donation at present. In Shanghai, blood is needed every 90 seconds, however, the resource of blood is always in shortage. Hence, the challenge from the Blood Center was to increase the awareness about the urgency of blood donation and to get the public to be more active. And Christmas is a season of " giving ", so the Blood Center hopes we could design a Christmas gift to give out to white collars in companies to recruit more donators.

The idea: To raise awareness of the urgency of blood donation, we created an hourglass with red-colored sand in it, which represents the blood. And we printed the profile of a man and the Red Cross on each side of the timer. So when you turn the hourglass up side down from time to time, you can easily find out the relationship between "you" and "the Red Cross", anytime one of them is running short of blood, the other side can help instantly.

You could be saving someone's life this second, and he could be saving yours the next.

Advertising Agency: TBWA, Shanghai, China
Creative Directors: Yang Yeo, Elvis Chau, Lesley Zhou
Art Director: Leo Lee
Copywriter: Nicky Zhang
Illustrator: Amani Qian
Photographer: Jun Li

Comments (16)

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LAZ's picture
Activity Score 288

quite nice, but i guess it would have been even better with one of those liquid hourglasses. no one has sand in their vains as far as i know.

melocoton's picture
Activity Score 987

You´re right, but I think it could be kind of impressive with red liquid inside, lots of people can´t see blood.


whitespace's picture
Activity Score 1953


Sand hourglass is cheaper to make. Or maybe they really didn't think that far.

Jersey11's picture
Activity Score 36

Good comments, thank you friend.

LAZ's picture
Activity Score 288

your welcome.. leo? :)

Beatboxer's picture
Activity Score 1517

It's figurative.

Very nice idea, it shows the duality of the action. You give, but when you need, you have something for you.

teenie's picture
Activity Score 1894

Nice - simple and direct. I think it works best with the sand. Yes, blood is liquid - but an hourglass is filled with sand, and it's the hourglass that's the metaphor here. It's enough that the sand is red.

lucyinthesky's picture
Activity Score 44

that's right. plus, peole, imagine that whatever liquid they had put in there, the effect would have been wierd - either it would have poured down too quickly, and the message would get lost, or too slowly and..."messy", if you know what i mean - it would have left the inside glass dirty with that liquid. anyways, good good idea

Joe76's picture
Activity Score 762

Nice thinking. Effective. Well done.

fotdot's picture
Activity Score 673

Great idea. Great execution.

Kin's picture
Activity Score 86

steady yang...hope to see more nice work from you and your team...cheers!

A. J. SMITH's picture
Activity Score 2822

Yeah its good, a nice, simple, fun idea.

It's only an ad.

mrtalented's picture
Activity Score 2171

not practical. the hourglass this type is way too fragile to be delivered as direct mail.

the graphics don't seem to communicate like what they intended to. if change to a human icon donating blood on one side and a human getting blood donated on the other side, it'll be more meaningful. plus no upside-down fonts needed.

chintan ruparel's picture
chintan ruparel
Activity Score 1516

im not being hasn't this been done b4? seems a lil familiar somehow..i guess somebody in d forum tried somethin like dis...

~ old habits die hard, older ones never do ~

michael's picture
Activity Score 14

i do not like this.

chirpy.cynic's picture

Great idea, lovely execution, gets the message across instantly, good show guys:)