Breast Cancer Advertising
Viral videos are an amazing phenomenon. Often, they’re purely about simple entertainment/procrastination. (How many times have my kids exclaimed, “Charlie, you bit my finger?” A lot.)
But videos with real messages have legs, too. You’ll find no better example, in my opinion, than the Pink Glove Dance.
Each time I watch this sweet and silly video of healthcare workers dancing around in their scrubs and surgical caps, it brings a smile to my face. The video stars staffers at Portland, Oregon’s Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Everybody featured is wearing pink vinyl gloves and dancing for breast cancer awareness.
Well, the video was such a hit that its sponsor, Medline (the manufacturer of those pink gloves), had to make another one.
“If one video and one hospital could bring this much attention to breast cancer awareness and prevention,” reads a caption on the website, “think about the impact of a video that featured 20 times the people and facilities participating in it.”
The result is this sequel video. The video features 4,000 dancers from 14 different medical facilities and this time, they include healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors.
The sequel is just as fabulous as the first video, if not more. The song, “You Won’t Dance Alone” by the Best Day Ever, is perfect. The choreography is really impressive. (Well, impressive for a bunch of people who spent their twenties in med school.)
But it’s the vast number of participants that makes me cry every time I watch the sequel. There are dancers from hospitals in Newark, NJ to La Jolla, CA to Plano, TX and they are all working it. Their joy is infectious and incredibly moving. These healthcare workers (and janitors and administrators and lab techs etc.) are all helping women with breast cancer. They fight the disease every day. As a breast cancer survivor, I can attest—these videos really do matter.
That’s clearly why Medline is keeping the magic going. Today, July 2nd, they’ll announce the details for another Pink Glove Dance competition. You know I’m going to campaign for my amazing treatment team to submit a video. I’d also love to be part of one of those survivor dances.
Whether or not we Detroiters make the cut, I’ll just be glad to see the Pink Glove Dances continue. Do a little procrastinating and check them out. I promise you won’t regret the eight minutes (ten if you stick around to make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation) you'll spend watching these advocates shake their booties for breast cancer.
Have you heard of the “lipstick index?” This is a term created by Leonard Lauder during the 2001 recession. As the economy went down, Lauder posed, the sale of little, cheering luxuries like lipstick went up.
But in our current economic downturn, the news is all about nail polish. According to Time magazine, lipsticks sales are only up 14 percent this year, but the sale of nail polish has risen 54%.
This might simply be a fashion trend. Or it might be because nail polish is cheaper than lipstick. (In other words, even lipstick is too rich for our blood these days.)
But here’s a positive spin on the news: I think good nail care is a boon for women. At Brogan & Partners, we even bring in a manicurist once a week to give our employees some free pampering and—if they want it—polish.
This is a perk, yes, but I also think it’s a sound business decision.
I know that sounds a little bizarre, but hear me out.
When you think about it, your hands are one of the first impressions you make in a business meeting. You thrust out your hand and shake. And while men might focus on their grip, women think about their grooming. Manicured hands—with neatly shaped nails and no ragged cuticles—show that you’re put together. You’re conscientious, even meticulous. You’re on top of the little details. And you’ve got style!
All that conveys, and inspires, confidence. And this is no small thing in the business of marketing. After all, we’re not just marketing products and ideas. We’re marketing ourselves.
Not that polish is all about putting on a show. It gives the wearer a lift, too. How many times a day do you glance in the mirror? Maybe three or five?
But your hands are always in your sightline. When I type, gesture, or drive, it gives me a little lift to see a flash of color and shine. Does it boost my confidence? Who can say? I’ve been a diehard nail-painter since the age of eleven. I barely know myself without a coat or three of lacquer on my nails.
I do know that when I was going through my breast cancer treatment, I was appalled when I heard I might have to take off my nail polish for surgery. In her amazing memoir, Geralyn Lucas wrote why she wore lipstick to her mastectomy. I didn’t care much about lipstick when I went for mine, but my polished nails felt like the utmost symbol of my dignity. (And yes, I got to keep my mani.)
Nails might seem like a frivolous detail, but I think they’ve got some significance—in life or at work. So, even though it’s a sign of bad economic times, I’m kind of glad women are finding a pick-me-up in nail polish these days. In my book, it’s one of the better boosters out there.
There are many reasons to love Facebook. I think I’ve just found another.
Here’s what I mean. Check out the Olay website. It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? All glamorous black shadowing, glossy red accents, dramatic splash effects and seasonal sparkles.
Now take a look at Olay’s Facebook page, specifically its “Defuzz in Defember” campaign.
Here you have a fresh-faced model wearing a phantom mustache. She’s advertising the company’s charitable campaign for December: buy Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, and Olay will donate a dollar to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (and give you a $3 discount, to boot).
To spread the word about defuzzing for a cause, you can add a pink mustache to your Facebook picture. And you know me, I can’t resist any opportunity to advocate for breast cancer research. Check out my cute ’stache here.
A glamour shot it’s not. What it is is a cute, lighthearted way to raise money for a great cause.
A fun stunt like this might not make it into an expensive ad campaign, but on Facebook, a company can be creative and cheeky. It’s the perfect counterpart to an every-pixel-perfect TV spot or print ad.
In other words, with the dual platform of advertising and Facebook pages, a company can have its glamour and its goofiness, too. And since we know women are a complicated target audience, that multi-prong approach can only be a good thing.
What do you think of the Defuzz in Defember campaign? Have you seen any other creative campaigns lately on Facebook or other social networks?
A week ago, we all sat down to groaning Thanksgiving feasts. Then it was on to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. I even found a site, moderntribe.com that invented Shop Jewish Sunday. It all culminated in the Visine-inducing Cyber Monday.
Now many of us, awash in beribboned packages, have a consumer hangover. That’s why the newspaper ad I spotted the other day came at the perfect time.
The ad urges us to “redefine Christmas” by giving to charities instead of giving stuff. I think that’s a great message. While sometimes a material gift is just the thing for a holiday or occasion, whenever I see a “no gifts” note on an invitation, I happily make a donation to my favorite charity—the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure--instead.
But what if you don’t have an automatic go-to charity.
That’s where social media comes in.
With a quick Google, I found some excellent charity clearinghouses, including:
- Just Give, which created the Redefine Christmas ad.
- Charity Navigator with lots of great functions including a complete rating on charities.
- Network for Good offers charity gift cards.
- Charity Watch helps you check out organizations and insure that your online donation is safe.
Crowdrise, one of my personal favorites, just offered a 48 hour promotion where 1 out of every 3 donations were free. This allowed users of crowdrise an opportunity to give their favority charity a donation and get the money right back.
And if these sprawling databases are too much for you? Check out your friend's Facebook pages for their favorite charities. That’s how I found out about Kiva through which one can make microloans to business owners in need, as well as Heifer International which gives families in developing nations livestock and training to improve their health and finances.
Or go to a favorite business’s website. Subaru, for instance, is “Sharing the Love” through the holiday season by donating $250 to one of five charities for every new car sold.
Online networks are a great way to find cool stuff to buy. But they’re also the perfect medium for giving back. To me, that’s the essence of what social media is all about.
As a breast cancer survivor, nothing makes me happier than media that really gets women to check their breasts. After all, it was Brogan & Partners’ spot for St. John Health that inspired me to be more diligent about checking my own breasts. Soon after we created that commercial more than four years ago, I discovered a lump and caught my cancer early.
This PSA from Rethink Breast Cancer makes me doubly happy. Not only is it a great two-and-a-half minute tutorial on checking your breasts, it’s also hilarious! Not to mention easy on the eyes. The PSA stars Anthony, a spokesmodel with sparkly eyes and bare, washboard abs. He demonstrates how to examine your breasts with TLC: Touch, Look, Check.
So if this message is aimed at women, why do we see a man palpating his pecs in the shower (complete with pink shower cap)?
Because, explains Anthony’s co-star, a gray-haired doctor, “Studies have shown that women are more likely to watch a video if it features a hot guy.”
Clearly, that’s true. The PSA has gotten more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.
Rethink Breast Cancer has also produced a great, free app called the Your Man Reminder. Users customize their regularly-scheduled reminders to feature the hottie of their choice. They can even alter his pose. He’ll send sexy/cute messages to remind them to do their breast-checks.
I think this is great. It calls to mind another irreverent (and effective) breast-check prompt, Check Your Boobies.
But I don’t just like Rethink’s PSA because it gives me a laugh. I think its humor makes it more effective. Good advertising makes an emotional connection. Some move you tears, like our St. John Health TV Spot for breast cancer. Others make you laugh like our Michigan Department of Community Health TV Spot to remind women to get regular pap tests.
And when you’re talking about a breast check reminder, memorable is as good as it gets.
What do you think of the Your Man Reminder? Can you think of other breast cancer prevention spots that have lodged in your memory?
I’m a long time fan of the TV show, The Biggest Loser. For the past five years, I’ve spent many Tuesday nights glued to NBC watching the triumphs and the struggles of a group of dedicated and brave men and women competing to lose weight and regain control of their lives. It’s a perfect mix of inspiration combined with a bit of drama to end my day. During season 7, a fellow Michigander, Helen Phillips took home the grand prize.
Last summer, I had a terrific opportunity to have lunch with Helen Phillips and get to know her off of the TV screen. Over salads (dressing on the side), we talked about our personal goals. Helen is focused on helping people live a healthier life, and I’m forever dedicated to putting an end to breast cancer. We knew we could work together to create a really great event.
On October 20, 2011, Helen Phillips and I invite you to celebrate healthy living and survivorship at our first Partners in Pink Party. Come see the historic Peabody Mansion in pink lights honoring breast cancer survivors and remembering those who have lost their battle. It’s the second year our beautiful building will shine bright pink in downtown Birmingham. We have wonderful sponsors donating food, drinks and entertainment. The majority of your ticket price will go to benefit two organizations that mean so much to us--The Helen Phillip’s Foundation and FORCE. The Helen Phillips Foundation promotes healthy living to combat obesity, and FORCE is a national non-profit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. We hope to see you at this one-of-a-kind event.
At Brogan & Partners, we pride ourselves on being one of the best healthcare agencies in the country. We have a passion for it. And our client loyalty and creative portfolio demonstrates it. But it’s nice to have the recognition of your peers in the highly competitive, realm of national advertising award shows. So we are thrilled that we have won two awards at The 28th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report.
Our teen driving public service poster (see below) for the Michigan Department of Community Health received a Silver Award. And we won a Merit Award for our TV commercial “Close Up” created for Covenant HealthCare (see below). The MDCH teen driving poster also received a Silver Award at the Aster Awards as well.
Every year we are proud to bring home the hardware from award shows, but we realize that agencies like ours create award winning work every day. The difference is having great clients. Clients who recognize great ideas. Who push it through their own internal bureaucracies. Who add their own passion and creativity to the process. So thanks to our clients who made these healthcare awards possible: Geralyn, Jason, Amy, Kelly, Larry and Barb. You are the prize. Great clients like you (and we are lucky to have many) are what every agency creative director like me covets. Thanks for making us all winners!
The historic Peabody Mansion, the home of Brogan & Partners, is usually a sight to see in yellow, but this October we’re going pink. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So we wanted to raise awareness for breast cancer, honor Michigan survivors and remember those who lost their lives.
This cause is very near and dear to us. On a professional level, we have a strong passion for healthcare marketing. And on a personal level, our Managing Partner, Ellyn Davidson, is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with the disease 3 years ago and beat it. Her organization, Ta Ta Breast Cancer (a group of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walkers), has raised over $290,000 for breast cancer research and treatment. Our agency is dedicated to supporting this cause for her and for all women out there who must face this disease.
We hope that our pink lights will be a small step in supporting the cause and increasing awareness to many. All of us here at Brogan & Partners are looking forward to a brighter (pinker) tomorrow for women’s health.
Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about cause marketing which sparked a bit of discussion. I'm a pretty big fan of cause marketing from both a consumer point-of-view and a marketer point-of-view. I understand that some organizations may be capitalizing on a cause for a few extra bucks but I have to believe most have only good intentions.
I think about cause marketing a lot particularly during the month of October also known as Pinktober. It's hard not to notice especially as a breast cancer survivor. This morning, I was out running a few errands, and I went to 4 places. I was pretty much blown away with what I saw, and I kept kicking myself for leaving my camera at home. My first stop was Target where I resisted buying most of the pink products but could not pass up the Multi-Grain Cheerios with the big Komen logo on the front. Congratulations General Mills, it's been at least 5 years since I purchased this product and you caught my attention.
My next stop was Beauty First and had I needed a new flat iron, I would have been all over the pink one also benefiting breast cancer. After that, I went to Panera where it took a lot to pass up the pink bagel (I've tried them before and they are delicious btw) but I opted for a bowl of soup instead. And my last stop was Caribou for my after lunch coffee. They've named a whole program for Amy, a Barista, who lost her battle at age 33. So yes, during October, it's hard to go anywhere without being surrounded in pink and I'll happily support those that support breast cancer. They've made a connection to me whether their donation is big or small, whether it funds mammograms, research, treatment or anything in between.
I love my collection of pink products and I love knowing that I supported my favorite cause. Found any cool pink products that you couldn't live without? Post a comment and share them with me.