CIBC shows why Canadians must Run For the Cure

Who: CIBC, with Juniper Park\TBWA for strategy and creative (Headspace Marketing for French adaptation); OPC for production (Fantavious Fritz directing); School Editing Studio Feather and OSO for post-production, and media by MediaCom.

What: “This is Why We Run,” a campaign promoting the annual Run for the Cure cancer fundraiser, which is returning as an in-person event this year after being held virtually in both 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.

When & Where: The campaign launched Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 2 with a media buy that includes TV, out-of-home, social and digital.

Why: It’s an awareness push for the annual fundraiser, which has generated more than $480 million for breast cancer research since CIBC first came aboard as a sponsor in 1992 (despite being virtual, last year’s event raised $9 million).

The Canadian Cancer Society said that the impact of the Run For the Cure has been “undeniable,” with the breast cancer death rate in women being cut nearly in half since its peak in 1986. Yet while there has been real progress, the fact remains that one of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

While charity advertising tends to focus on needs and outcomes, the goal here is to put an emphasis on action by tapping into viewers’ personal connection to the cause—reminding them that everyone has women in their lives, meaning they all have a reason to participate.

How: The campaign’s 45-second anchor video shows women of all ages engaged in everyday activities with family and friends—cuddling with a newborn baby, socializing with friends, baking with a son, driving in a car, etc.

It then cuts to a distraught woman turning to her partner for comfort, accompanied by the sobering super: “1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.” The spot ends with women featured in the ad gathering for the annual run, while a super appears: “We run today to save lives tomorrow” and urges people to participate in the Oct. 2 event.

The cast is comprised of a mix of real Canadians, including some cancer survivors, to drive home the fact that breast cancer is something that affects people every day.

This was an opportunity to capture intimate human moments that go beyond the surface level tropes and remind audiences of all the women who have shaped us,” said Juniper Park\TBWA group creative director Paul Little. “This is our motivation, and it reminds us that if we don’t run, these are the people we stand to lose.”

And we quote: “This campaign captures the raw emotion felt by women and those closest to them when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. CIBC remains dedicated to a shared purpose with our clients and the Canadian Cancer Society to change the future of breast cancer.” —Tammy Sadinsky, senior vice-president, brand and marketing, CIBC

Chris Powell