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The Blood Center of Central Texas "Elevator"

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The usual motif of ads that ask us to give blood, donate to charity, devote time to a worthy cause, etc.: You're a good person, so you'll want to do this good thing. The motif of a new campaign for the Blood Center of Central Texas (via Door Number 3 of Austin, Texas): You're sometimes a bad person, so you'd better "redeem yourself" by doing this good thing. Depending on your taste in such matters, this is either (a) a refreshing change from the well-worn approach or (b) a wrong-headed deviation from the tried and true. No doubt some viewers will be reluctant to identify with protagonists who do cheesy things, like the guy here who pushes the "close door" button on an elevator as a woman calls out "Hold the elevator, please" and chugs toward it with heavy boxes in her arms. Then again, you may feel that if this bad guy can redeem himself by giving blood, a reasonably decent person like yourself could gain redemption by doing so. (Theologically-minded critics will wonder whether a campaign running in the Bible Belt is on target when it suggests one can be saved by good works rather than by faith, but we'll leave that argument aside for now.) The sort of people portrayed in the campaign might not be persuadable to give blood, but viewers with lesser moral lapses will take the hint. That'd be just as well. After all, you wouldn't want to find yourself in need of a transfusion in a locality where large numbers of truly nasty people have been donating blood recently. --Mark Dolliver