Raising breast cancer awareness with Tommy


Meet Tommy. He’s the star in a new campaign from Cancer Research UK to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month which runs through October.

Tommy is the ‘breast awareness guy,’ the focal point of a special website and starring in a tongue-in-cheek video in which a woman explains how best to check breasts, the twist being that her assistant is a handsome and obliging male model.

The video is also on YouTube which will likely increase its chances of being talked about, shared and commented on, and thus going viral. (Note to some marketers: you don’t create a viral video: you create a video; the viral aspect emerges if and when it becomes popular via the web.)

For anyone, checking any part of your body (especially the intimate bits) for cancer is no laughing matter. If Cancer Research UK wants to heighten awareness of why such personal attention is so important, I think taking a comedic approach like this to a serious subject just may work.

If you’re a woman reading this, do you agree? What do you think?

According to Immediate Future, the charity’s PR agency, this is the first time Cancer Research UK has approached awareness-raising on a serious social issue in this way, tapping into social media like YouTube.

In previous campaigns, the agency says, the charity has used banner advertising and email. It will be interesting to learn eventually what this different approach produces.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.