IPA Awards: Bronze Award - Best Media: Don't Be A Cancer Chancer

Sponsored by DDS

Title: How a colloquial message of hope empowered a population to save
their own lives
Client: Manchester Versus Cancer Alliance in partnership with Ashton
Leigh & Wigan PCT
Entrant: McCann Erickson Communications House (Manchester)
Author: Sarah Booth, McCann Erickson Communications House (Manchester)
Contributing author: Emily-Jane Brown, McCann Erickson Communications
House (Manchester)
Media used: Regional newspapers, radio, out of home, internet, direct
marketing, PR, sponsorship, word of mouth, ambient, coupons/leaflets,

In a nutshell

By creating hope instead of fear and altering the way the people living in Greater Manchester reacted to early signs of cancer, the campaign increased awareness of the symptoms by 69 per cent.

Summary: Every year, 500 people in Greater Manchester could be saved from death by cancer if their symptoms were presented earlier. This small-budget social marketing campaign saved lives in the region with a positive message about cancer. The creative strategy was to create hope instead of fear and alter the way this population reacted to the early signs of breast, lung and bowel cancer. With four striking yet empathetic visuals in newspapers and on bus tickets, pharmacy bags, public toilet rolls and drink coasters, the campaign was able to reach and engage with a specific, socially disadvantaged audience. It achieved prompted awareness of more than 50 per cent, a 69 per cent increase in awareness of the symptoms of cancer; and 26 more cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2008.

Judge's comment: The judges were impressed by how traditional media were used creatively to speak to an audience about the difficult and scary topic of how to recognise cancer symptoms, and how one should react to them.

- Jennelle Tilling, vice-president of marketing UK and Ireland, KFC, Yum! Restaurants International.