Campaign: Eric Emanuel and the American Red Cross
Company: American Red Cross
Duration: August 11–17, 2023

Some people would give blood, sweat and tears to obtain a limited-edition piece of clothing. Or at least give blood. 

That was the idea behind a recent American Red Cross campaign featuring New York City-based designer Eric Emanuel.


The American Red Cross has experienced a shortfall of about 25,000 blood donations this summer, according to the group. As such, the organization collaborated with Emanuel for a second time, after partnering with him in 2022, to stage a blood drive in Atlanta featuring his designs. 

The American Red Cross partnered with Emanuel, who designs sportswear and specializes in mesh shorts, because of “his heart for service,” the organization’s executive director of brand partnerships Darren Irby stated in an email to PRWeek. 

In addition, the nonprofit is always looking for ways to reach new audiences, especially younger people, to foster a new generation of blood donors. One major challenge that occurred at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was that nearly all schools became virtual, which meant that the American Red Cross could not host drives there.

“That prevented us from introducing blood donation to this key demographic,” said Irby. “Historically, drives held at schools have accounted for as much as 25% of the blood supply during the school year. So, [Emanuel’s] ability to reach this key audience is critical to not only helping the patients of today but creates the opportunity for individuals to become lifelong blood donors.”


The organization and Emanuel staged a blood drive August 17 in Atlanta, Georgia, that featured wall decals, carpets, T-shirts for staff and gift bags featuring Emanuel’s signature logo. Donors also received Emanuel-designed shorts, which featured a blood cells-inspired design and logos from Emanuel and the American Red Cross.

“The American Red Cross logo is one that I want my consumers to wear with pride,” Emanuel stated in an email. “Just like an ‘I Voted’ sticker, I wanted these shorts to say, ‘I did something to help the world.’”

The campaign’s target audience was people aged 16 to 30.

Emanuel has clothing stores but does not have a location in Atlanta, which “fed into the exclusivity of this opportunity [for] a brand experience for his fans. In addition, the American Red Cross has a strong collections footprint in the city, which allows us to continue to foster a relationship with these individuals,” Irby stated. 

To promote the event on social media, Emanuel shared a photo of the shorts on Instagram.

“Our focus on social media was to tease the exclusive shorts to emphasize the limited nature of the drop, increase buzz and speculation around the drop location and leverage resulting word-of-mouth to generate excitement among young and diverse blood donors in Atlanta,” Irby said.

The American Red Cross also hosted live streams from the blood drive on its TikTok and Instagram channels.


– Emanuel’s Instagram post generated more than 15,000 likes. Hypebeast did a story about the shorts.

– More than 125 people donated blood at the Atlanta event. 

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.