This Cancer Hospital Campaign Aims to Put Itself Out of Business
This month, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance will launch and new TV, radio and online campaign created by Seattle-based Frank Unlimited that centers not on curing or even alleviating cancer, but on prevention.
While that would be a predictable direction for a public service campaign but not so much for a healthcare advertiser whose bread and butter, so to speak, is cancer treatment. Nevertheless, the campaign represents upwards of 35% of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's total 2014 marketing budget. Called "Do One Thing," it promotes cancer risk-reducing lifestyle changes that people, especially adults 45+ and especially women, can make on their own, without participation in any hospital program.
The campaign strategy borrows from current motivational psychology thinking on habit change, which suggests that, asked to change many habits, people often change none; asked to change one habit, they are more successful. As relates to cancer prevention, people are counciled to avoid some foods, eat others, exercise, use sunscreen, stop smoking, and more. It frequently leads nowhere.
"So here's a thought," a :90 online video encapsulates the overall message, "You don't have to change everything. You don't have to do everything. Just do one thing. Every day, pick one healthy thing, and do it." The video shows three would-be cancer avoiders do a lot of attempting and a good deal less succeeding at dozens of different healthy lifestyle changes.
There is also a free Do One Thing app, for iOS or Android, which lets one set goals, then gives reminders and tracks progress. The tracking can be private or shared socially. Because public shame is, of course, an exceptionally effective motivator.
To drive site traffic, a :30 TV commercial, animated by New York Times op-ed illustrator Drew Christie, runs on all broadcast networks and a :60 radio spot runs on NPR and major news format stations, all within the Seattle DMA. Additionally, banner advertising will run across various healthcare networks.