How knowing more can lead to no more breast cancer

Who: Breast Cancer Canada (formerly Breast Cancer Society of Canada), with One Twenty-Three West for strategy, branding and creative, Feels Like Home for production (directed by Lucas Dabrowski), and OMD for media.

What: “Know More Breast Cancer,” a new brand, visual identify and marketing campaign intended to more fully represent the progress being made in the fight against breast cancer.

When & Where: The new brand and advertising just launched, running across TV, digital/social, print, out-of-home, and PR stunts. Ads are appearing on both paid and donated media, and will run through the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Why: The brand overhaul came in response to feedback about Breast Cancer Society of Canada’s position in the marketplace, said Breast Cancer Canada CEO Kimberly Carson.

There’s been a lot of progress when it comes to research, but the brand didn’t reflect that. It was stately and traditional, but needed to look progressive and future-focused. “It didn’t seem like it reflected the speed of which some of the research is happening in the breast cancer research industry.”

The new branding and communications were necessary to mirror the progress Breast Cancer Canada has made, while showing how meaningful the research can be and how amazing the researchers are.

How: One of the campaign’s objectives was to show that while the disease itself is ugly, the progress being made in fighting it is beautiful. The creative goes beyond rebranding the organization, spotlighting both the researchers and their ground-breaking work.

The 60-second hero spot is a flowing montage of poignant, heartbreaking scenes of patients and survivors living with the disease, juxtaposed with researchers working to find a cure (along with some evocative depictions of actual tumours). A voiceover repeats “no more” over and over—sometimes tearful, sometimes defiant—only revealing the double meaning at the end of the spot.

“The overall look and feel captures the beauty of the progress that’s been made and celebrates these amazing researchers and inspiring survivors and will give a new perspective to the fight against breast cancer,” said Addie Gillespie, creative director at 123w. “A lot of messaging has been done around supporting survivors, which is important, but we wanted to show that there is something tangible you can do—that when you donate, it gives researchers time in the lab, access to data, better equipment and more, it saves lives.”

The no / know tagline: The campaign is built around the double-meaning of the tagline “Know more breast cancer” to deliver the overall message that knowledge will lead to a cure—that to know more, will mean no more.

It captures perfectly with what BCC wanted to communicate, said Carson. “The message that we’re getting from breast cancer patients and researchers is ‘That’s enough, we can fix this,’” she said. “We’re making huge strides. We’re making huge advancements. At one point in time, it was a death sentence, and now it’s not. But we need to get that knowledge out there so that we can end it.”

And we quote: Late Monday night, Carson received a text message from someone she knew with breast cancer. “[It] said ‘For the first time since I’ve had breast cancer, I feel beautiful,'” said Carson. “I didn’t really know what I was looking for, what I wanted to hear, but I wanted to make a change. We all wanted to make a change. We wanted patients to feel beautiful. We wanted the science to be beautiful. We wanted to be progressive. And when I got that message I had goosebumps from head to toe. And I was like, I think we made it.”

David Brown