|Title||WE GAVE SOMEONE CANCER|
|Brand||BOWEL CANCER NEW ZEALAND|
|Product / Service||BOWEL CANCER NEW ZEALAND|
|Category||B03. Fundraising & Advocacy|
|Entrant||TBWA\AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND|
|Idea Creation||TBWA\AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND|
|Christy Peacock||TBWA||Executive Creative Director|
|Watchara Transrikeat||TBWA||Art Director|
What’s the best way to fight cancer? Give it to someone we love. Bowel cancer kills more New Zealanders than breast and prostate cancers combined. But Kiwis are too embarrassed to discuss it. We found that people who have had loved ones go through it do talk about it, openly. So we found someone Kiwis love and gave him bowel cancer.
Working with New Zealand’s longest-running soap opera, Shortland Street, we were able to create a storyline which put a popular character through the disease. Over the course of six weeks, a popular character, Damo Johnson, went through all the phases of bowel cancer, from embarrassing symptoms, to fear of making a doctor’s appointment, to examination, colonoscopy, diagnosis, writing a will, surgery, survival and recovery. Throughout the storyline, all of the important information regarding early testing and detection was imparted by different characters as part of their natural dialogue.
350,000 viewers who watched the story unfold over a six week period are now better informed about bowel cancer, for an investment of zero dollars.
We turned a health education campaign for a charity into light entertainment, using New Zealand’s number one soap opera as our delivery channel.
We needed a vehicle which reached as wide a population as possible. It is hard to overstate the long-term influence of this soap opera on the culture and psyche of NZ. It has been running on tv most weeknights for 25 years and is now also heavily consumed on demand. This made it an ideal vehicle to deliver a six week medical education about a man fearing death and soiling his pants at work.