A new generation of fans is bleeding for the beloved mascot Snoopy as part of a new viral trend on TikTok.
While the news might seem alarming at first, the trend is actually quite wholesome. Young Snoopy fans are donating blood in order to get an exclusive shirt from the Red Cross featuring the character, and then sharing videos of it online. At the time of publication, some of the top videos have exceeded 1.5 million views, but what’s more astounding is how the trend has impacted blood donation numbers. The Red Cross told Polygon that appointments for blood donations rose by 40 percent in the weeks after the promotion for the shirt started.
The shirt in question sports a relatively simple design. It’s a white T-shirt that displays Joe Cool — the name of Snoopy’s alter ego that wears sunglasses — leaning on the Red Cross logo and text that reads, “Be cool. Give blood.” It’s tied to part of a larger promotional campaign starring the Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz; those who go in and donate blood, platelets, or plasma can get a free shirt. The campaign is live now and runs until April 23.
Because the shirt has Snoopy on it, it makes waves online as young users share videos flexing their Snoopy swag after they or a loved one donated blood. There is no standard meme or format for the videos, but many use the classic “Peanuts Theme” as audio and share videos of the shirt or document the process of going to donate blood to get it.
Snoopy has seen a resurgence in popularity in online fandom in recent years. One strong example of this comes from this mysterious TikTok account that shares delightful edits of Snoopy living his best life. (I say “mysterious” because all these edits are supposedly made by a young girl who hasn’t appeared online and only communicates through her older sister). The account, which has over 380,000 followers, helped put Snoopy back on the map for many fans online. At the time of publication, the hashtag “Snoopy” has over 810 million views.
In a statement issued to Polygon via email, executive director of national brand partnerships at Red Cross Darren Irby said that the Red Cross historically has used colleges and high school blood drives to introduce blood donation to younger audiences, but that the pandemic made it more difficult over the past few years. However, the gap is now being at least partially addressed by Snoopy.
“In the last few days, we’ve seen a surge in traffic to our website and a more than 40% increase in blood donation appointments versus the week before the partnership—with a vast majority coming from organic search,” Irby said. “Our donation appointments are up over 20% since last Monday, year-over-year. And nearly 27,000 more people than we expected scheduled an appointment to give last week.”
Where can I get the Red Cross Snoopy shirt?
If you’re reading this and wondering how you can go get one of these snazzy shirts, we got you covered. First, you’ll need to check the eligibility guidelines to make sure you can donate blood, platelets, or plasma. (Although the FDA recently proposed changes that could expand who is eligible to donate blood, make sure you check in with Red Cross guidelines to see the most up-to-date rules.)
Once you check to see if you can donate blood, all you need to do is schedule an appointment at a local site using the directory from the Red Cross. Note: The promotion only runs until April 23, or until supplies last, so if you want to nab a shirt go sooner rather than later! That way, everyone can all be rocking Snoopy shirts.