Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Commercial: On talking about cancer

Over at Wolff Olins, Owen Hughes has passed judgement on Cancer Research's new logo, and is kind of lukewarm about it. 

One thing about his assessment caught my eye. He writes: do we minimise the fear and remove the mystery? How do we enable ordinary people to talk about cancer and seek help? … [For Cancer Research] to get beyond the ‘big C’ they have to think big and find new, innovative, inspiring ways to get people involved. And… they have to find a way to raise money and support without reinforcing our fear of the ‘big C’.
Let’s not go back, let’s talk cancer. Let’s say Voldemort and strike back.

It caught my eye because it appears that Owen hasn't heard of the one cancer charity that has been doing exactly this since the day it started.

Of course I am biased, but CoppaFeel!'s brilliance comes from not just Kris' energy and passion in driving it forward, but the fact that she changed the frame of reference; why shouldn't cancer charities talk in an upbeat tone, and demystify things? Why should everything always be a battle and a fight? Why can't it be cheeky and sexy and witty and wise?

Yes, of course, CoppaFeel! speaks specifically to a young audience (male and female, by the way, an oft-overlooked dimension), but there is no reason why others cannot adapt this tone and attitude for older audiences. 

The point is: talking cancer doesn't mean, and shouldn't mean, more of the same language that's been used in the past. 



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