Cancer Research UK

The cancer charity has launched a TV and radio advertising campaign to promote Race for Life

Cancer Research UK's new campaign
Cancer Research UK's new campaign
What is it?

The new campaign, called Cancer, We’re Coming to Get You, is designed to change the perception of the annual women-only fundraising event from a gathering of women in pink to an army of women who run, dance and sing "in cancer’s stupid face".

The campaign includes a 60-second TV advert in which women show their defiance of cancer. It will appear on major television channels. 

Anything else?

Yes, lots. A music video, being launched later this month, will feature a dance called the Cancer Slam, shot in a wrecking yard. The video includes a tutorial so women can learn the dance before the race and then perform en masse before they start.

Press and posters of women telling cancer what they think of it, including lines such as "Oi! Cancer! You. Me. Outside. Now" and "Cancer can kiss my butt", will promote the campaign.

Radio adverts are also being used to introduce a new element to the race: the women taking part will do their usual minute’s silence, but will follow this with a minute’s roar. Another radio advert features a woman reading out a letter to cancer.

There can’t be more, surely

Stickers carrying insults aimed at cancer, including "Cancer Is The C Word", are being given out across the country. 'Cander dancers' will be in shopping centres nationwide, and participants are being given t-shirts and bandanas that tell cancer what they think of it.

The campaign is also being promoted on social media – Facebook includes an app, called the Insult Generator, with which users can generate messages to cancer that will appear on their pages.

The advertising campaign has been designed by Mother.

What does the charity say?

Anthony Newman, director of product marketing at Race for Life, says: "Most of the communication we've done around the races previously has been to promote details, such as location and timings, and we wanted to make it more about the cause. I am hugely excited by this campaign and how it can help us transform this amazing fundraising event into a truly desirable brand."

Third Sector verdict:

This campaign takes a brave new approach that the charity hopes will empower women taking part in this year's event. The message is bold and the language might offend some members of the public, but it should appeal to the charity's core audience.

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