Product / ServiceNOT APPLICABLE
CategoryA03. Healthcare
Additional Company SIFT DESSERTS Hong Kong, HONG KONG SAR


Name Company Position
Robert Broad DNA Senior Vice President
Karen Chan DNA Senior Copywriter
Meiling Chan DNA Account Director
Tiffany Chan DNA Editor
Cathy Chow DNA Scientific Director
Dido Chow DNA Senior Art Director
Sophie Daneau DNA Senior Manager
Frank Fung DNA Account Director
Marisa Lam DNA Senior Manager
Elizabeth Lui DNA Associate
Ivy Zeng DNA Associate
Fung Cheng Roche Hong Kong Limited Manager, Medical Affairs
Seetal Patel-Greenwood Roche Hong Kong Limited Senior Group Product Manager
Irene Kwan Roche Hong Kong Limited Patient Empowerment Lead
Miranda Suen Roche Hong Kong Limited Product Manager
Jason Tsang Roche Hong Kong Limited Associate Manager, Product

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The work cleverly employs the humble cupcake to turn passive knowledge about breast cancer into immediate action to get checked. Unusual, photogenic and shareable, 6000 cupcakes were given away in a day to passers-by with the campaign reaching more than 1.5 million people via social sharing and via extensive coverage on mainstream media.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Hong Kong. On average, 1 in 16 women in the territory will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Diagnoses have increased four-fold since the early 90s. Compared to the West, proportionally more young women in Asia get breast cancer, which is why regular self-exams is necessary. Unfortunately, many ignore this. Even when mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues have been diagnosed, too many people still think: “I feel fine. It won’t happen to me.” Our objective was to educate Hong Kong women on the likelihood of them getting breast cancer and to stay ahead of it by learning how, and doing regular breast self-exams.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

The insight above, along with the breast-like shape of cupcakes, sparked an inspiration: can something soft, scrumptious and unassuming be used to convey a hard and life-changing message? Enter the cUUpcake: a cute, pink, frosted, breast-shaped cupcake that women would want to get their hands on. Indeed, breast-shaped cupcakes are as attractive as they are mischievous-looking: perfect for an Instagram post! But these are no ordinary cupcakes. The cUUpcake – the double “U” alluding to breasts – looked perfect on the outside, but hid a secret within. 1 in 16 of these freshly baked cupcakes contained a hard toffee center. The number represents the average lifetime risk local women had of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Our strategy was to use the simple act of biting into a delicious and delectable dessert into a moment of realization and reckoning that would turn passive knowledge into immediate, life-saving action. Through these cUUpcakes, we provoked women to think of their breasts in a multi-sensory way – through sight, touch, and taste. Just like the cupcake with the lump, every woman had a chance of getting breast cancer. Just like the cupcake with the lump, and what looks perfect on the outside might be hiding something sinister inside. The target audience is women over 30 years old. Most in these demographic are working individuals in bustling Hong Kong, which explains our choice of execution tactic below.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Timed to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 2018), a Secret cUUpcake pop-up store was launched in Causeway Bay, one of the busiest districts of Hong Kong. A cupcake giveaway station was placed next to a bright pink truck, and passers-by were invited to get a free cupcake. Influencers were engaged to start conversations on the store on Instagram. As unsuspecting women savored the tasty treat, some found themselves biting into the unexpected toffee lump. It was a moment of shock, realization and contemplation: “Just like this breast-shaped cupcake, my breast too could contain a deadly lump. How would I know for sure unless I checked?” At every location these cupcakes were distributed, educational leaflets were shared and nurses were on hand to coach women on how to conduct breast self-checks.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

Google search for “breast cancer symptoms” went through the roof following the launch of the campaign – 240 times more than the previous month. Most encouragingly, HKAN reported an increase in enquiries and appointments for their screening services, as well as a much larger number of referrals from private screening centres. On social media, we achieved 13,260 social media engagements - that’s more than 20% of internet users in Hong Kong). This, along with extensive media coverage, including in-depth feature articles generated from leading publications such as am730 and Metro Daily, helped our messages reach more than 1.5M people (vs the target of between 967,000–1,029,000 people, or around 1 in 8 people in Hong Kong. The success of the campaign has inspired Roche to establish #CheckUU as the umbrella concept for all future breast cancer communications in Hong Kong, and potentially, regions beyond.


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