Anthony Nolan

The blood cancer charity has launched a multimedia campaign aimed at young men, encouraging them to join the bone marrow register

Anthony Nolan's new campaign
Anthony Nolan's new campaign

What is it?

Anthony Nolan has unveiled a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of blood cancer among young men. The campaign features online adverts that deliberately invade the user’s space, but explain that the adverts are necessary because blood cancer has not been beaten.

The adverts feature the statement "yeah, we hate these adverts too" and encourage the user to tear down the advert and join the bone marrow register.

Where are the adverts appearing?

The adverts have been deliberately placed on websites where young men socialise, including Talksport, Digital Spy and Cult Box.

Spotify and radio adverts will help to raise awareness of the campaign, there will be online banners and posters will be placed in the changing rooms of fashion retailer Topman and gyms nationwide.

Anything else?

The campaign includes a video featuring beatboxer Bass6 performing his act in front of an audience. In the video, Bass6 makes noises that represent a number of things that appear on a screen behind him – such as a fizzy drink or table tennis. "Blood cancer" then appears on the screen, making Bass6 stop abruptly, and he says to the audience: "There is no music in blood cancer, but as long as it’s around let’s make some noise about it."

The video appears on YouTube and is being pushed by the charity’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. It will also be seeded across several blogs that range from Den of Geek to The Independent

Watch the video:


Why is the charity doing it?

Anthony Nolan says that not enough young men know about blood cancer. The charity’s bone marrow register has a shortage of 16 to 30-year-old males, whom it considers the best bone marrow donors.

The campaign has such a heavy emphasis on digital because the charity recognised its target demographic was spending a significant part of their lives online.

Third Sector verdict:

The campaign does all the right things to appeal to the demographic that Anthony Nolan is chasing. The use of Spotify advertising and the YouTube video demonstrate a particularly acute understanding of exactly where young men spend their time online and the hint of irony in the language of the campaign ("We’d rather be down the pub as well") means that awareness does not come across as patronising at all.

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