Canadian Cancer Society
As cancer is the number one killer of Canadians, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been touched by it. The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) was the only major cancer charity in Canada for almost 50 years, but since 1998, that number has grown to over 225.
The CCS was “well known but not known well.” It needed to be reintroduced with a bold, modern attitude and a new
During research, it was discovered that those affected by cancer were most motivated by ideas about hope and optimism. Furthermore, they believed that they personally could make a difference, and their intense emotional involvement with the disease had manifested into courage and determination. Interestingly, they were talking about it in the third person as if the disease could be spoken to directly – like a bitter enemy. The goal was to transform the sadness and anger into a powerful movement to fight back.
A campaign called “Join the Fight” was developed, kicked off with a PR event that, with a donation, allowed people to throw paint balloons at a giant mural of the word “CANCER” and eradicate the word.
Two short films featured real people, unrehearsed, speaking directly to cancer. The English version “Fight” presented vignettes of people and their affected family members at home. The French version “Dinner” placed cancer survivors at a big table and let them berate the unseen, uninvited guest.
These drove to fightback.ca, which told stories of survivors, doctors and more. Radio used real people talking to cancer, and a series of posters used confrontational headlines like, “Cancer, if you thought chemotherapy hurt, wait ‘til you get a load of the new things we’re working on.”
The PR event generated 3,000 interactions and a 300% increase in traffic on Fightback.ca on launch day. The event generated over 17 million media impressions and a cost per contact less that $0.007. There were over 40 million impressions in the first four months of web activity.
The English film “Fight” was awarded a Silver Lion at Cannes and top prize at the YouTube DoGooder Nonprofit video awards.