Microsoft and Google are using the ubiquity of their brands to encourage people around the world to roll up their sleeves, grit their teeth, and donate blood.
The companies are participating in the global Missing Type campaign, which asks businesses to remove the letters “A,” B,” and “O” from their logos so they can raise awareness for the decline in blood donations. (The letters correlate to the “A,” “B,” “AB,” and “O” blood types.)
Engine Group, the public relations agency working on the campaign alongside 25 blood services from around the world, says there’s been a 30 percent drop in blood donations. Missing Type is supposed to “ensure blood donation for future generations” by making people more aware of this otherwise invisible problem.
The World Health Organization reported in June that in high-income countries only 33 out of every 1,000 people will donate some of their life-saving viscera to blood banks.
Some of that has to do with discriminatory restrictions on blood donations which prevent sexually active gay men from donating blood because of the 1980s HIV scare.
But much of the issue probably stems from a lack of awareness. That’s where popular tech companies are able to use their platforms to affect change. Those efforts aren’t restricted to Microsoft and Google — Apple has also started using its popularity to better educate its customers, albeit in a slightly different way.
The company will make it easier than ever to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor in an update to its Health app that will be released alongside iOS 10 later this year. This could help the 50 percent of Americans who aren’t currently registered organ donors make the change and, potentially, save lives.