Sunday, 18 November 2012

Greg McHugh / Clare Grogan / Elaine C Smith

Breast cancer awareness campaign breaks government’s online records

A shock new health advert featuring women's breasts has outperformed a major campaign to promote the Scottish Homecoming, new figures have shown.
The Homecoming advert - part of a multi-million campaign - had previously been the most successful ever to be commissioned by the Scottish Government with almost 112,000 views.
But the Detect Cancer Early drive starring actress and comedian Elaine C Smith has smashed previous records to become a chart topper on YouTube.
A total of 125,048 people have viewed the video to date which carries the message that lumps are not the only sign of cancer.
The campaign is predominantly aimed at women over the age of 55, as this is the group most at risk of developing breast cancer.
Video statistics from YouTube show that men aged 45–54 years have been the most likely group to watch the advert online so far, followed by men aged 35–44 and then women aged 45–54 years.
Brian Coane, accounts partner from The Leith Agency, who made the advert, said: "The campaign was developed to get the attention of a female audience. And the first thing that we want the campaign to do is to help women spot the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
“But cancer is something that affects many people, male and female. So we hope that the message of 'Don't get scared, get checked' is one that people want to pass on, especially through word of mouth."
Official government figures show that there were 1,024 cases of breast cancer in women in Greater Glasgow and Clyde in 2010 and five cases in men.
Launched earlier this year, the Detect Cancer Early campaign aims to increase the early detection of cancer by a quarter by 2015 and save 300 lives across Scotland.
Speaking about the creative process behind the advert Phil Evans, copywriter from The Leith Agency, said: “We always felt that showing real breasts, with real symptoms, would make for a powerful advert.
“And that's when we hit on the idea of cards being held up over the chest. We thought that if we could get a high-profile woman to go topless and hold them up so that it looked like they were her breasts, this would instantly grab the viewer's attention.
“Full-frontal naked breasts had never been seen in an advert before, but we thought if ever there was a time when this could be appropriate, it was now - for this campaign.
“There was something about Elaine that we thought women in Scotland would relate to. And when we found out she'd lost her own mum to breast cancer, it was never going to be anyone else.
“When I thought about what she should say while holding the cards, I felt it was important to reflect her personality and warm people to the information by making a joke at the start of the advert.
“That's where the ‘Three kids later ones’ line came in. It shows this is about real women with real breasts. This honesty set the tone for the whole advert. It is a straightforward, honest appeal to the women of Scotland.
“I'm absolutely over-the-moon with the reaction. As Elaine put it when she had a wee teary moment during filming, ‘If it prevents one death from breast cancer it was all worth it’.”
The average survival rate for cancer has doubled in the past 30 years, and half of all people diagnosed with the disease now survive for at least five years.
Between 1986 and 2010, the survival rate of those being diagnosed with cancer across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has increased by 17%.
Responding to the success of the campaign, Health Secretary Alex Neil says that the “upfront and honest” advert has made a bold step in tackling breast cancer survival rates head-on.
He said: “One in nine women in Scotland will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, highlighting the gravity of this disease and the importance of staging a public health campaign that directly addresses the awareness of symptoms.
“We needed to give women across Scotland the confidence to deal with breast cancer and to recognise the potential visual signs and symptoms of the disease.
“The creative route is a UK first by showing real pictures of women’s bare breasts with visible signs of breast cancer in a television advert.
“It has drawn widespread, positive responses across the nation that have helped to galvanise conversation around the topic of breast awareness.
“The Scottish Government is proud to have introduced this groundbreaking campaign which we believe will help pave the way to improve the health of generations of Scottish women to come.”

Following in the footsteps of Elaine C Smith, a group of celebrities have since joined together to make an online spin-off video and help reinforce the Detect Cancer Early campaign messages.
Featuring Kaye Adams, Tom Kitchin, Clare Grogan, Michelle McManus, Amanda Hamilton, Grant Stott, Phil Kay and Greg McHugh, the celebs are hopeful that the light-hearted approach, which has had over 10,000 views so far, will strike a chord with the public.

Kaye Adams said: “I think the tone of the advert is just right. The important thing in any media campaign is to make a connection and a lasting impression. A stern 'in one ear and out the other' message is no good to anyone.
“Scots respond to humour, they enjoy humour and remember it and if it can help them take on board an important message, then it is doing its job.
“I thought the original advert was inspiring from the off. It caught my attention immediately and drove me online to look at it again. Elaine is the perfect choice, she is known for her humour but also her intelligence and integrity.”

Source (with both videos): STV 

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