Deliberately protect yourself from the dangers of melanoma

Melanoma, a harmful lesion forming from the pigment cells in the epidermis, is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. It is slightly more common in women than in men and - compared to other cancers - more common among the young and middle-aged. With 1,000 to 1,200 new cases every year, it is also the fastest-growing form of cancer in Belgium. MSD asked iO to create and distribute an awareness campaign to inform people of the dangers and at the same time encourage them to check their skin regularly.
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An awareness campaign for patients and health care professionals


A creative storytelling concept based on 3 strategic pillars

The challenge

Starting with International Melanoma Day (2 May), MSD wanted to launch an awareness campaign aimed at both (potential) patients and healthcare professionals (oncologists and dermatologists). The message: raise awareness, raise awareness, raise awareness. The goal was twofold:

1. protect yourself and scan your skin regularly;

2. provide extra protection for your skin during the holidays.

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The solution

Despite the gravity of melanoma and the risk involved, MSD and iO decided against working with threatening images of doom, but rather to motivate the screening and protection phase in a positive way. Instead of scaring people off, we encouraged them to visit a dermatologist sooner in the event of irregularities and to get themselves tested sooner. After all, that is the most efficient way to detect malignant spots and prevent skin cancer (from getting worse).

Strategically, this vision was translated into three focal points:

TOUCH: start from a positive vibe with stopping power

EDUCATE: confront the audience and provide clear information and solutions

ACTION: always end on a positive note and with a call to action

Creatively, a striking storytelling concept was coined: 'The Lifesaver Tattoo'. In a video, we hear the gripping testimony of a patient who discovers a melanoma during a visit to the tattoo shop. But we also see the flower tattoo that lives along with the story — in good and bad moments. The pay-off sums up this symbiosis very well: 'Your skin lives with you. Have it checked regularly.’

To breathe life into the concept and the message, it was first distributed via video on YouTube and social media and then rolled out in numerous online and offline assets to (potential) patients and healthcare professionals: video, SoMe campaign, posters in the waiting room, e-mailing…

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