The stigma of lung cancer – that it’s self-inflicted – stands in the way of research funding, adoption of early detection protocols, and routinely causes patients to be treated without dignity.
Lung Cancer Alliance’s challenge was to ignite conversations around the absurd: that if you have lung cancer, you deserve it, to drive awareness, understanding, and support for the cause.
With limited funds, the No One Deserves To Die campaign became the second most popular story on Yahoo! and was featured on over 140 news outlets. Across the country people talked, posted, blogged, and brought an injustice to light.
No one deserves to die. When that simple truth is forgotten, how can people’s misperceptions and biases be reversed?
Through a mysterious campaign pre-launch that provokes. Through breakthrough creative that shocks. Through a multi-media launch, fueled by strategically-placed PR, that forced passionate conversation about the message.
Some find the creative shocking…but so is the stigma against people with lung cancer. How often when you’ve been told that someone has lung cancer, did you say, “Did he/she smoke?” This stigma – that lung cancer is self-inflicted through smoking – stands in the way of research funding, adoption of early detection protocols for at-risk populations and routinely causes patients and their families to be treated without the same dignity as patients with other cancers. In reality, lung cancer doesn’t discriminate by age or whether or not someone smokes, quit years ago or never smoked at all. It is this stigma that our client, Lung Cancer Alliance charged us to eliminate.
To start the conversation, LC placed out-of-home materials in dozens of major cities across the nation, supplemented by guerrilla building projections and cinema spots, which drove people to a website for the facts about lung cancer. To say that the conversation hit a nerve was an understatement:
- The teaser was the second most popular story on Yahoo! from June 26-28, 2012
- The Yahoo! story alone had over 5,500 comments, and generated over 2,000 mentions in blogs, forums and news sites
- Broadcast news coverage across the nation had a PR value of nearly $200,000
- The campaign was featured in over 140 non-broadcast outlets including the New York Times, CNN and Salon
- And, while LCA + LC were prepared for the worst, 97% of the conversation was positive or neutral through July 24, 2012