TBWA\Auckland drives bowel cancer awareness with revolutionary Shortland Street campaign

ShortlandStreet_showtile.png.2017-03-01T11_49_29+13_00.jpgTBWA\Auckland has taken a revolutionary approach to a charity awareness campaign for Bowel Cancer New Zealand (BCNZ).

New Zealand has one of the world's highest rates of bowel cancer, affecting more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, yet awareness remains low. TBWA observed that the fiercest advocates for educating people about the disease seem to be those with a loved one directly affected. So they set out to give all New Zealanders a friend with bowel cancer, via the country's favourite TV show.

From that insight, the campaign was born. TBWA worked with the producers of New Zealand's longest-running and most popular soap opera Shortland Street, who agreed that much-loved character Damo Johnson would be diagnosed with bowel cancer. Over a period of three weeks, Damo displayed some of the signs and symptoms which people can be too embarrassed to talk about, before undergoing testing, diagnosis and surgery. Suddenly, every Kiwi had a friend with bowel cancer.
The storyline was supported by a TVC reminding viewers that the disease could strike anyone, from any street. BCNZ also closely monitored commentary amongst the show's highly engaged social media audience, joining in wherever the Facebook conversation turned to relevant issues like diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and outlook.

Says Christy Peacock, Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Auckland who developed the campaign: "it's a sad fact of life that few of us are motivated to really support a health issue until it affects someone we care about. Working with such a well-loved character gave people a reason to care: it means a huge portion of the population now has a friend who has experienced bowel cancer. That provided great traction we can draw upon to educate Kiwis about this disease, which affects so people, but which still flies under the radar."

Adds Rebekah Heal, General Manager at BCNZ: "Lack of awareness is one of the key challenges we face. Bowel cancer responds well to early treatment, with very high survival rates. Shortland Street very generously gave us an unprecedented platform to encourage New Zealanders to talk about and recognise symptoms earlier on. This increased awareness will help us save a lot of lives."

Shortland Street airs 7pm weekdays on TVNZ 2.

Agency: TBWA Group NZ
ECD: Christy Peacock
Creatives: David Sylvester, Watchara Tansrikeat
Account Director: Aimee Knox
Account Manager: Chloe Lim
Agency Producer: Jodie Hari
Editor: Jim Hudson
South Pacific Pictures:
Senior Publicist: Raegen Houldridge


Client: Bowel Cancer New Zealand
General Manager: Rebekah Heal
Product: Bowel Cancer New Zealand

1 Comments

I remember this idea said:

Well done Smeta.

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