Cannes Lions

Ink and Blood

LAIKA GREY, Guayaquil / RED CROSS / 2019

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The World Health Organization states that blood donations from 2-5% of a country's total population is needed to satisfy demand at any given time.

The Ecuadorian Red Cross has historically collected only 1.4%.

In Ecuador, over 100.000 tattoos were inked in 2018.

We uncovered the growing and socially active tattoo community and engaged them as social and influential motivators.

We believe that tattoo artists and fans can become an active force as new blood donors and evangelizers of this new donating habit.


FACT: International Red Cross regulations indicate that someone getting tattoed must wait a year before donating blood.

IDEA: Donate blood before getting inked.

CAMPAIGN: INK AND BLOOD, saving lives one tattoo at a time.


Targeting tattoo fans and artists at their preferred parlors and Festivals, with the help of Red Cross material and presence.

Physical campaign activation at Tattoo Festivals and Parlors, sharing the message "donate blood before your next tattoo" inspiring and tattoo fans from all over the world to join the campaign.

The Red Cross began a conversation with the tattoo community through printed material (posters, stickers and stitched badges) and the transmission of videos sent from all over the world by influential tattoo artists through social media. #InkAndBlood #TintaySangre


This effort began on International Blood Donation Day, (June 14th, 2018), when the Ecuadorian Red Cross announced a campaign inviting tattoo artists to join the cause. The announcement was made on social media, generating free press.

Social media reacted positively and began sharing the initiative.

People from Ecuador and Latin America began to engage with the campaign. Most believed that they were unable to donate blood again because they had tattoos.

Red Cross began its presence in Tattoo Festivals in Ecuador, installed blood donation tents to gain visibility and incorporated a mobile presence next to several of the most visited tattoo parlors.

Organic reach from tattoo lovers on social media increased awareness and donations. The campaign initially crossed borders into Peru, Chile and the Latin American region but has gained response from far reaching areas of the world, such as: US, Norway and Italy.


Blood donated from tattooed people has increased over 3,600% over the past year.

Every day more people and tattoo artists join #Inkandblood and help spread the message.

The Tattoo community is now extremely active in the act of donating blood and spreading the word to others..

Red Cross incorporated a new niche from which to increase blood donations: the tattoo parlors.

Every day, more tattooed people leave behind the myth that they cannot donate blood because of their tattoos.

Red Cross has been booked for the next Tattoo Festival in Guayaquil and the campaign is having a worldwide effect.

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