Twitter’s trending hashtags are rarely rocket science, and those that tend to thrive are the ones that anyone can get involved in with a little imagination and creativity.
If you’ve used Twitter at all this week, you’ve probably noticed the #MissingType hashtag floating around in your newsfeed. It’s a very simple idea that raises awareness for an important cause while being a lot of fun.
The campaign is supported by the NHS and is a global effort to highlight a worrying 30% decrease in blood donors over the past decade. To reflect the shortage of blood types A, B and O, the idea is for those letters to be dropped from the text and logos of many well known businesses and organisations. For example, Engage Web becomes ‘Eng_ge We_’, as it did in our tweet from yesterday:
— Engage Web (@EngageWeb) August 18, 2016
Give Blood NHS has led by example on Twitter, temporarily changing its name to Give _l__d UK. As this article shows, there are even examples of NHS Blood and Transplant vans bearing the slogan ‘Ple_se give _l__d’, thereby grabbing the attention of passersby with typography that seemingly makes no sense, and perhaps leading them to investigate further.
Countless recognisable brands have followed the trend, transforming the text in their logos and tweets into what looks like a bad game of hangman:
— Ribena (@RibenaUK) August 17, 2016
— Marmite (@marmite) August 17, 2016
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 16, 2016
Interestingly, these altered logos also show the power of brand recognition. We can still immediately recognise these designs even with important letters omitted, and the same can be said of those plastered across the cover image of Give Blood UK’s Twitter page.
The campaign really hit its stride on Tuesday, with Google Trends showing a notable spike in searches for ‘give blood’ at around 6:00 PM that day.
This suggests that the #MissingType hashtag is not simply encouraging people and companies to get involved in a bit of Twitter fun, but successfully raising awareness of the global blood shortage. This may prompt people to consider donating blood themselves.
Indeed, when the campaign was first run during National Blood Week in June 2015, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Assistant Director of Marketing and Donor Services, Jon Latham, explained that 30,000 blood donors had signed up in England and Wales within 10 days of its launch.
If you’d like to become one of them, head to blood.co.uk, where you can register as a donor and book an appointment at a location near you.