Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Spec work: my first ever healthcare campaign

I've had a go at pitching ideas for an awareness campaign that would promote the early detection of prostate cancer in men (speculative client: the NHS).

Without an art director, I stuck to notional visual references and typography throughout. So yes, it needs graphics badly. But I'm pretty pleased with this concept in particular (originally appearing as one of three).

Concept two


Problem: Actually, treating prostate cancer is a complicated and somewhat conflicting business. Each case is different. From the testing and diagnosis process itself...to the rate of growth and spread of the cancer...and ultimately to the course of treatment pursued. How can we be clear and factual about an illness that manifests itself and affects the lifestyle of people so differently?

Solution: One thing remains certain: this disease can be deadly. So as a guy you need to know your risk – everything must start here. We’ll create a campaign that emphasises the importance of speaking to your doctor if you have any symptoms or concerns.  

Message: Simple: we need to talk about prostate cancer.

Campaign line:
Speak up to shut it down

1. Raising awareness


Using typography, we’ll create a series of humorous posters depicting statements most men would never, ever utter out loud. (And we’ll sustain the campaign by refreshing it with topical editions periodically.) 

Visual treatment:

Poster one copy:
Some things you’d never share. But some things you really should.  
See your GP if you have trouble peeing, or worry about your prostate cancer risk. For the best options and support – it starts with a conversation.
Male cancer
Speak up to shut it down

Poster two copy:
There’s stuff we never say. Then there’s stuff we simply have to.
If you’re over fifty, black, or related to someone who’s had it before, your risk of developing prostate cancer is increased. So if you’re worried, see your GP. To discuss whether testing is right for you.
Male cancer
Speak up to shut it down

Poster three copy:
Sometimes it pays to keep schtum. Other times you can’t afford to.
See your GP if you have trouble peeing, or worry about your prostate cancer risk. For the best options and support – it starts with a conversation.
Male cancer
Speak up to shut it down

2. Further information
More striking typography... This time, structuring our ‘further information’ leaflets into two distinct components: What are the symptoms I need to watch out for? What factors increase my risk?

 Sample leaflet copy:

“I have trouble peeing.”
Your doctor needs to know if:
-       You suddenly start going lots (and during the night)
-       It’s very ‘stop start’
-       You’re always bursting
-       Your bladder feels full when you’ve only just been

“What is my risk?”
Your risk of developing prostate cancer is increased if:
-       You’re over fifty
-       You’re black
-       You’re related to someone who’s had it before

See your GP if you have problems peeing or worry about your risk. For all the best options and outcomes, it starts with a conversation.
Male cancer
Speak up to shut it down

Sandwich boards
For maximum impact, leaflets will be distributed on the street in high footfall areas. Handed out by volunteers wearing sandwich boards with...yep, you guessed it. More embarrassing revelations written all over them.

Visual reference:

Sample board copy:
That’s embarrassing.
Telling your GP you’re worried about prostate cancer isn’t.
Speak up to shut it down

3. Keeping momentum
Television advert
Moving the campaign on over time, we’ll create a short TV ad: ‘the proposal’. The idea? Some words can change your life – so it’s important to find them when the time comes. (Warning: romantic clich├ęs abound.)

Draft script:
A man is first seen shopping for an engagement ring, then selecting a classic band.
Man: “No no, that one. Yep, that’s the one. I hope so anyway!”
The same man is seen speaking on his mobile phone while smoothing down his fancy suit and hair in the mirror at home. 
Man: “That’s right, I booked us a table. Nah don’t worry babe, I’ve got this one. I’ll pick you up at half past.”
A nice car pulls up slowly outside a swanky restaurant and the man steps out, followed by a woman. They enter the premise smiling and holding hands.
Woman: “This looks beautiful! You’ve gone to so much trouble!”
Now both seated at the dinner table, the man pours the woman wine and looks lovingly into her eyes. Then he pulls out a ring box from his coat pocket. She reacts with glee.
Man: “I just thought it would be nice to give you a break from my cooking for once! *both laugh* “You’re perfect though, do you know that? And there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you...”
The man holds out the open ring box, but suddenly struggles to speak. He glances around at other diners, all staring back at him in anticipation. The woman stares too, willing him on. He is trying to get words out but nothing is happening.
“Will you...”
***long pause***
Sometimes – you just need to find the words. There are certain moments in life that depend on the sounds you’re brave enough to make. And once those all-important words are out, your life can change for the better.
Shots of the man and woman leaving a church in bridal attire. Confetti everywhere; typical joyous wedding scene, etc.
If you’re worried about your risk of prostate cancer or if you’re having problems urinating, tell your GP as soon as possible. Once you’ve got the words out, you’ll get all the advice and support you need to move forward and make the best decisions for you.
Some words change lives. Some words save lives.
***words appear on screen as they are read out***
Male cancer. Speak up to shut it down.