Cancer Research UK

The cancer charity is using hip hop as a way of reaching a younger generation to educate them about using sunbeds

Leatha Face
Leatha Face

What is it?

Cancer Research UK has launched a campaign that uses deliberately bad rapping to persuade young people to stop using sunbeds. The star of the campaign, ‘Leatha Face’, is a deluded ‘tanaholic’ teenage boy who believes he is destined for rap stardom, and that his sunbed tan will set him apart from the other rappers out there.

What’s happening in the campaign?

Leatha Face will post a number of videos on his YouTube channel and Facebook page, each of which shows him practising his 'tanalicious rhymes' before being brought back down to earth by a more savvy peer who tells him about the health risks of sunbed use.

Anything else?

Leatha FaceThe content, which was shot to look like webcam and mobile footage, will live among other hip hop content on Facebook and YouTube, and across niche blogs. The activity will be backed up by a video blogger outreach campaign, plus YouTube advertising and video seeding. Cancer Research UK will also be trialling the new YouTube Preroll ad format for the first time.

Has there been any external agency help?

Support for the campaign is being provided by the digital engagement agency Nonsense, and the YouTube advertising and video seeding was arranged by Mediacom.

Is this part of a larger campaign?

Yes, this represents the latest development in the charity’s SunSmart campaign, which has been running since 2003. This time the focus has been on the difficult-to-reach 15-18 C2DE audience.

Caroline Cerny, health campaigns manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "By creating an engaging video, we hope to influence the attitudes of young sunbed users and show them that it's not only the heavy sunbed users who are risking their health and their looks."

Third Sector verdict:

Using YouTube as a channel to disseminate the campaign message is a smart move. By making the video entertaining as well as informative, it maximises the chances of the clip becoming viral and therefore increasing the number of people the campaign will reach.

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