Every day, 22 Danish men are killed by cancer. For years, the Danish Cancer Society has been trying to get men to see the doctor when discovering symptoms of cancer, but without much luck: several campaigns have failed. Danish men still ignore the symptoms, until it’s sadly too late. But cancer is indeed very curable if the symptoms get recognised in time. So we had to come up with a new and more impactful strategy if we wanted our message to get across to the men - something that was different than a “traditional” awareness campaign.
The Creative Idea
Research showed that nine in ten men would be fine with getting a nudge to the doctor from their loved ones. So, this year we turned to the ones we knew they would listen to and do everything for: their kids. On Father’s Day, the Danish Cancer Society invited all of Denmark’s children to be their messenger. ‘Save your Father’s Day’ was an initiative, where children could customize their own personal Father's Day ads that lovingly reminded their fathers to check themselves for the signs of early stage cancer. The Father’s Day ads were then individually placed where the fathers were sure not to miss them: right by their own homes. All of the ads turned into an entirely personal outdoor campaign in themselves, filling up the streets with heartwarming Father’s Day greetings. On Father’s Day, the children then surprised their fathers by showing them the ads.
Describe The Strategy
When the Danish Cancer Society had experienced that their “traditional” awareness campaigns didn’t work on middle aged men, they had to find a different way to get their message across. We found that nine in ten men would be fine with getting a nudge to the doctor from their loved ones. That’s why we gave the airtime to those we knew they would listen to: their kids. But talking with your father about his health isn’t an everyday topic. So, to give the children an opportunity to have a loving talk with their fathers, we launched the campaign leading up to Father’s Day.
Describe The Execution
The campaign was launched in a film on social media where one son gave the ultimate surprise to his father: a personal greeting placed on a billboard right outside his father’s home. From there, the children were led onto the campaign site where they could customize their own Father’s Day greeting. Here they could upload a photo of themselves, write a personal Father’s Day greeting and enter their fathers address. On Father’s Day, we then placed the ads where the fathers were sure not to miss it: right by their homes. The children then revealed the heartwarming messages to their fathers on the day. Everyone else who didn’t get a greeting placed as an ad could customizer their own personal Father’s Day greeting card that they could give or send to their fathers.
- Overall 28,011 children created a personalized Father’s Day greeting (with our message about the signs of early stage cancer) which were given to fathers across the country on Father’s Day.
- The campaign tripled the amount of people in the target group, who have spoken to their father about the signs of early stage cancer or have encouraged him to go to a check-up: 209,269 conversations with the potential to save lives.
- During the campaign, visits to the website explaining the sign of early stage cancer increased by 560%. - 57% of Danish men between 50 and 70 years old were met by our message during the campaign as result from a strong ambassadorship from the children.