Dethrone colon cancer


Because of cancer

Canadian Cancer Society

Finding the right approach to bring awareness of the importance of taking a fecal occult blood test in the prevention of colon cancer amongst the 50 to 74 year olds took considerable finesse. We pulled it off.

We did it, even if it was a huge challenge. First, we had to break the taboo surrounding a type of cancer that is rarely talked about, even though it’s the second-most deadly cancer in Québec. Then, we had to win over a segment of our target audience who usually show little interest in prevention: men between the ages of 50 and 74. After the success of the first edition of the Détrônons le cancer du colon [Dethrone colon cancer] campaign, developed by Atypic, the Canadian Cancer Society once again asked us to take charge of its 2019 general campaign for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.


Same eye-catching concept. Same authentic spokesperson. But this time, with a new angle to our message and a few new allies.

To better align our efforts with the experience of spokesperson Ludovick Bourgeois and the mission he set himself when he agreed to support the cause, we decided to give young people a role in the campaign, inviting them to help us spread the message and reach their parents more effectively. In addition to targeting them directly through precise ad placements on conventional TV, we connected with them through their most precious asset: their families. Parents, children, friends: everyone was invited to spread the word and encourage our target group to discuss the test with their doctors.

Developing videos: a key part of our strategy

The spokesperson’s genuineness and the public’s empathy for a man who had lost his father to colon cancer was immense, and we had to build on that. As a result, we opted for a simple, restrained approach to get our prevention message across. The spokesperson’s song “Ma main sur ton épaule” was used as an anchor because it talks about reversing roles—the child taking care of the parent—and it had huge potential to go viral. The campaign included updating the website, scripting and shooting three videos, creating an FAQ on the test, producing TV and digital advertising and developing specific prevention resources for doctors.

After just one month, awareness of the screening test among survey respondents had climbed from 20% to 32%.

For a mostly online campaign with a limited budget, it was a spectacular result. At the campaign’s halfway mark, the videos had already been watched over 658,000 times (compared to a total of 300,000 views for the previous year’s campaign), and the ads had been seen over 900,000 times on Facebook. There were a few other surprises too: the client’s call centre was overwhelmed (not a bad problem to have!), more than three quarters of website visitors were in the target age group, the number of social media shares widely exceeded the expectations, and men over 65 registered the highest click rate on social media—a major success for us.

Meeting your needs, whatever your cause!

Here at Atypic, we’re confident that with our team of dedicated experts together under one roof, we’re the only agency able to meet all your needs! Have you got a cause? Put us to the test!