Over the past twenty years, the number of men dying from prostate cancer has been steadily increasing as the advances in better treatments hasn’t kept pace with the growing older population. Prostate cancer has now overtaken breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer in the UK. Prostate Cancer UK are on a mission to raise awareness of the need for research after decades of underfunding. Men are reluctant to talk about their health, especially when it concerned their nether regions. The health charity space is also incredibly crowded, making it even harder to shine the spotlight on the issue.
For the past few years the most visible asset belonging to PCUK was the man-shaped badge worn on the lapel of almost every football manager and Sky Sports pundit. The same ‘Man of Men’ logo even appears in the squad number on all EFL players’ shirts.
But despite football fans recognising the badge from post-match interviews, few understood its significance or association with the charity. We had to explain to football fans precisely why their idols wore the badge, and inspire them to wear it themselves. Each badge costs £5 and funds a great cause.
What we did
Boxing Day is the only day in the year where football and family come together and was the biggest single opportunity to start some much needed (and hereto avoided) conversations about men’s health. We knew that time spent with family gave us the opportunity to simultaneously engage those most at risk – Men over 45 – and their loved ones.
Every football fan’s favourite pundit is of course Mr Jeff Stelling. Jeff was a keen supporter of the cause already, lending even more credibility to what he had to say next.
With unparalleled access to Sky’s talent, we were able to hijack half time in Liverpool vs Swansea, with a “behind the scenes” look at Jeff talking candidly with his Soccer Saturday co-hosts about what the badge means to him. The reactions were as real as the emotions behind their words, and the authenticity helped drive the film beyond just advertising.
We followed this with a month of TV airtime across live football, while the film was spread through a precisely targeted digital and social campaign. Prostate Cancer UK were also able to use the raw footage from Soccer Saturday to develop numerous cuts that lived across their social channels and extended the life of the campaign.
The results were immediate. Our Boxing Day spot saw a huge infux in visitors to Prostate Cancer UK’s site, and each subsequent spot on Sky saw immediate increases in web traffic, and requests for badges and donations flooded in. By the end of January, we had sent out over 15,000 badges along with significant spikes in donations and event sign ups. The content was successful in its own right, performing way above all expectations. The film currently has over 10 million organic views across Facebook and Twitter.