Organ Donor Ads Getting Too Edgy?

Earlier this year, Steve over at Revive Hope and myself both posted about a controversial Scotish ad that is intended to promote organ donation and encourage others to register. Last week, the television spot was posted to YouTube (I had previously only seen the print version) which adds additional context to the “shock and awe” approach.

Here’s the spot:

Similarly, a Belgium ad agency recently won an award for putting this sexy twist on the issue as part of an awareness campaign known as “Reborn to Be Alive.” Keep in mind that the ad was designed for Belgian’s leading men’s magazine.

Do these approaches to organ donation advertising cross the line or should we be taking a lesson here in the U.S. and move toward an edgier approach?

Cast your vote!


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3 Responses to Organ Donor Ads Getting Too Edgy?

  1. Steve Ferkau says:

    Hey Scott!

    Thanks for remembering the “Kill Jill” add… I’m a little torn about this other “edgy” direction though…

    Being of the male persuasion, I can’t say that I didn’t find the ad intriguing – even a little funny! At the same time, I’m not so sure it’s appropriate… The “Kill Jill” ad is edgy, but it’s very serious – it’s reminding us that this decision is about life and death… It’s reminding us how important this decision is to us, and to someone who may be depending on us…

    Part of me thinks that bringing sex and humor into the picture may cheapen the issue… Part of me finds it difficult to take the situation so lightly.

    The “Kill Jill” ad shows a precious young girl, and lets us know that without our gift, she will die. I’ve had friends in Jill’s situation. I’ve been in Jill’s situation. I’ve had friends die because not enough people have chosen organ donation. It’s edgy, but it’s realistic. If someone said “no, I won’t be an organ donor” after watching that, all I have to say is, “what if that was your daughter” or your sister or your wife?

    Part of me (there are apparently lots of parts of me) thinks that there may be no such thing as bad PR, and if this gets people to think about and consider organ donation then it has a purpose and the purpose is good. Yet, when I think about Kari and her family and her friends – I think about them with reverence. I do not think about them, or take their gift to me, lightly. But, relatively few people have been given the gift I’ve been given… Relatively few people may look upon this situation with the reverence we recipients look upon it with… These ads may not speak to the Steve’s of the world – but if they convince others to stop and think about organ donation, maybe they’re worthwhile.

    Love, Steve

  2. Scott Meis says:

    Thanks so much Steve. I was hoping to get some recipient response and perspective on the matter. I agree as it tends to be a toss up. If an edgy effort like “Kill Jill” motivates someone to take action who otherwise would pass over or completely ignore the issue, then mission accomplished. I’m not really sure how something like this would go over in the U.S., but it’s definitely a raw statement on the impact one’s decision can have on making a difference in the lives of others in need of a transplant.

  3. […] the ad can only be screened after 7:30 p.m.  I’ve blogged about similar edgy ads from across the pond and have had pretty balanced reactions from readers regarding whether […]

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