The APG Creative Strategy Awards Shortlist 2009: SKCIN (The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity)

Planned by: James Hamilton
Agency: McCann Erickson London
Brand: Skcin
Campaign: Computertan


This paper has, at its heart, Computertan.com, a website that allows visitors to download a "revolutionary application" that turns their computer monitor into a tanning screen, so they can tan at their desks. A hoax, as you probably found out when you visited or heard about it from The Sun, The Guardian or Radio1 last year.

The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity (Skcin) approached McCann Erickson to raise awareness of the alarming rise of skin cancer in the UK. Eschewing the obvious villain, the sun, the agency decided to focus on sunbeds. These produce excessively high levels of UVB and are excessively frequented by the "tanorexics" most at risk of developing skin cancer.

They discovered that "tanorexics" couldn't just be told about the harmful effects of sunbeds. They're blind to the dangers in their obsession with the latest in tanning technology. And there lay the answer: fool people into thinking that there was a new tanning technology and use this to deliver the Skcin warning.

A great case for the centrality of planning: brilliant idea liberated by a focused and insightful strategy.