5 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns that Go Beyond the Pink Ribbon

October 27, 2015 | by Carlie Miller

Ah, October. The leaves are changing, scary movies are making their way into theaters, and pink ribbons are popping up everywhere. Since 1985, October has been officially designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the US, and corporations and non-profit organizations alike have been jumping at the chance to work this into their marketing campaigns.

While some marketing campaigns do little more than slap a pink ribbon on one or two of their products and state that they will donate a “portion of the proceeds” to a breast cancer charity, others are doing a little better at advocating for self-exams and keeping spirits strong of those touched by breast cancer. Here are a few breast cancer awareness advertising campaigns that sparked my attention:

1. Ulta Beauty – This super creative ad for Ulta Beauty starts out seemingly dismal as a breast cancer patient discusses all that she expects the diseases will take from her. Halfway through the ad, the lines of text reverse and the tone shifts to become that of hope and strength. Props to the copywriters on this one!

2. Mercedes Benz – This ad for Mercedes-Benz ties in car safety with breast self-examinations, two seemingly unrelated issues, into a seamless ad featuring a crash test dummy performing her own self-exam. The small line at the bottom, “Unfortunately we can’t test everything for you” made me smirk and really brings this ad together.

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3. Singapore Breast Cancer Foundation – This campaign cleverly transforms popular social media icons into hand/breast symbols to promote what is important in life with the slogan “if only you checked your breasts as often.” What I like about this ad is that at first glance, you just see the social media symbol, while a second look reveals the true purpose of the ad.

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4. Breast Cancer Now UK – This ad begins in a similar manner as the Ulta Beauty video, with emotionally driven lines about how breast cancer is affecting these women’s lives. It grabbed me in from the start and I wanted to know where the ad was going. Finally, at the end of the video, it shifts gears and you get a very quick glimmer of hope.

5. Rethink Breast Cancer – This “Your Man Reminder” ad offers a sexy and humorous look at breast self-examinations. What makes this ad work is that it clearly states that the ad is purposefully using a “hot guy” to get women to pay attention. With over 7 million views on YouTube, it sure appears to be working!

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