Is ‘poo’ viral enough?: bowel cancer screening campaign

This April, the Scottish government along with The Leith Agency created a new campaign to promote early detection of bowel cancer. It is the third most common cancer in Scotland and effects mostly older adults, however 9 out of 10 can survive this cancer if it’s caught early enough.

They released this video in order to bring awareness of the issue to the public:

Whilst the chorus “tell your mum, tell your dad, tell your second uncle Vlad” is catchy, the video doesn’t leave the audience with much information.

Nowhere in the video are we given certain warning signs or symptoms to look for. It’s hard for family members to inform their older loved ones about bowel cancer if they can’t tell them what to look for. The video relies heavily on the viewers to take the extra step to visit the website in order to learn more about bowel cancer. This is risky because viewers may not take the time or remember to visit the website thus making the message ineffective.

Metro Trains Melbourne created a campaign to warn the public about the dangers of not paying attention when around train tracks.

‘Dumb Ways to Die’ has almost 44 million views on YouTube and a strong presence on social media driven by their microsite and Tumblr.

The two campaigns are very similar in the type of message and that they both want the viewers to take action. What the ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ video does differently is that they show what happens when you don’t pay attention around trains and how they should take care of themselves; it doesn’t rely on information from a microsite.

The bowel cancer campaign is greatly needed and could be powerful on a global scale, but it could use some changes. It is important to remember when creating messages for an audience you need to give them the information you want them to have right away and then create the desire for them to want to explore further.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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