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Technology & Innovation

In Portugal, Blood Donations Are Up, Thanks To Zombies

To promote The Walking Dead, Fox Portugal created a pop-up store that sold show merchandise in exchange for milliliters of blood. The results were so successful that the network plans to put pop-up stores in seven other countries.

What’s the Latest Development?

Fox Portugal came up with an innovative promotion to announce the fourth season of the wildly popular TV series The Walking Dead: Working with the Portuguese National Blood Bank Institute (IPST) and the creative agency Torke+CC, it opened a pop-up “Blood Store” that sold show merchandise — T-shirts, custom-printed sneakers, and the like — in exchange for a blood donation. More and/or better products required larger donations.

What’s the Big Idea?

Given the show’s gory premise, Fox and its team guessed that fans weren’t the type to be (too) freaked out by a little blood. Their guess led to success in more ways than one: IPST reported that donations went up by 571 percent compared to the previous year, and 67 percent of those donors gave blood for the first time. The show’s viewership went up 17 percent as well, which helped propel it to the top of the ratings for its Portuguese target group. Not surprisingly, Fox hopes to repeat this success by installing pop-up Blood Stores in several other countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Turkey, and the US.

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