Next phase of campaign for Scotland’s national bowel cancer screening programme to begin

Tonight, the second phase of campaigning to promote Scotland’s national bowel cancer screening programme is set to air during Broadchurch.

The TV advert features a lone man in his fifties sitting on the toilet, being spoken to by an ‘invisible man’ (voiced by Ford Kiernan) who informs that although the initial signs of the cancer are hidden, nine out of ten people survive if the disease is detected and treated early.

Gail Lyall, marketing manager at the Scottish Government, said: “This has been a hugely challenging and interesting campaign to work on. With such bold objectives and a hard to reach audience, we had to strike the right balance. Relying on audience insight and testing, I think we’ve got the right tone which will resonate with the audience.

“It was key to develop a strong campaign that would not only engage but actually empower and motivate people enough to do the test. It was also important to overcome the embarrassment of the subject and get people talking about poo. We all do it and the sooner we get over it the sooner we can reduce the numbers of people dying from bowel cancer.”

The campaign was developed on behalf of the Scottish Government by The Leith Agency, directed by Zam Salim and produced by MTP.

Phil Evans, copywriter at the Leith Agency, added: "At the heart of this campaign is a simple idea - the early signs of bowel cancer are often hidden. So you could have it without even knowing about it.

“This idea makes most people uncomfortable and that's what we wanted. So we came up with the idea of an invisible man turning up at your most private moment, encouraging you to do the test.

“It's a black and white argument - the test could save your life - so the invisible man is equally blunt. But he's got a sense of humour too. When people talk about bowel cancer with friends or family, it's usually accompanied with a joke or two. So it was important to recognise that.

Ford Kiernan's sharp, no-nonsense delivery was perfect."

A full marketing campaign including radio, press, outdoor, field and ambient marketing will run until the end of March. The campaign will be complemented by PR activity delivered by Consolidated PR and media buying by Carat.

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