Case study

Bowel Cancer Australia: Give a s#!t! about your bowel

Bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer killer in Australia, with more than 100 Australians dying from the disease every week. Misperceived as an ‘old person’s’ disease, Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA) wanted to cut through the clutter of public service announcements and health messages to engage the wider nation. As part of a three-year campaign, BCA looked to shift away from the usual conservative style of disease awareness communications.

Intervention

Communications around Bowel Cancer were not resonating with the wider public, feeling irrelevant in tone as well as subject. Designed with a senior demographic in mind, they were missing a younger ‘at risk’ audience of Australians. We captured attention with a strong voice and humorous edge, giving bowel cancer a stage to speak from. Creating a film set in an empty theatre, using CGI to create a transparent human with a focus on key organs, we used the distinctive voice of UK comedian Bill Bailey to share our messages. Confronting statistics drove awareness of the incidence and mortality rates of bowel cancer, and the importance of early detection.

Outcome

  • Successfully redefined Bowel Cancer Awareness Month awareness initiatives to resonate with a new audience.
  • Secured 277 pieces of coverage within a four-week campaign, with a potential reached of more than 3.2 million people. Features included Gruen, 7 News Melbourne and ABC News Breakfast.
  • Drove an increase in orders of bowel cancer screening tests by 60%, with search enquiries for ‘bowel cancer’ up 150%.