Burn guards protect beachgoers from the real danger—UV rays

Melanoma Canada and McCann are protecting beachgoers from rays, not waves, in a new campaign to remind Canadians of the dangers of skin cancer.

Finding inspiration from a famously kitschy ’90s primetime melodrama, “BurnWatch” imagines lifeguard towers in the water and overseeing the beach, watching out for those at risk for drowning in UV rays.

According to Melanoma Canada, Canadians are three times more likely to die from skin cancer than drowning, meaning the real threat at the beach is the sun, not the water.

With a kickoff activation at the Port Dover Beach on Lake Erie earlier in July, “Burn Guards” will alert beachgoers who spend too much time in the sun to put on sunscreen, while a sun safety training video will be air dropped to people at beaches across the country during other activations.

Media, including social, digital OOH, TV, digital display, and PR, will run through Sept. 4, with creative pushing people to BurnWatch.ca where they can become a “Burn Guard” after completing a short four-minute training session.

Earlier this year, Melanoma Canada also backed a new campaign by Merck Canada which encouraged Canadians to “Practice Skintimacy,” and ask friends and family to help conduct self-examinations.

It also worked with creative agency No Fixed Address for the “Self-Assessment Suit,” which showed some of the warning signs people should consider when examining a mole. It too was promoted with promotional video with a ’90s-inspired retro vibe.

David Brown