L'Oreal looks to create 'social impact' in skin cancer awareness campaign

L'Oreal is looking to push the health credentials of its skincare brand La Roche-Posay and create a "social impact" in a new awareness campaign for skin cancer.

The global Skinchecker campaign follows successful sponsorship and involvement in mole checking road show events by the brand in international markets and comes as La Roche-Posay looks to build on previous work around skin issues.

The new campaign, which launched in Latin America and Australia in January, takes a different approach from the "scare tactics" usually associated with skin cancer adverts, head of L’Oréal’s Active Cosmetics Division, Yannick Raynaud, told The Drum.

"If you look at awareness campaigns in the industry for many years most of them have taken an alarmist and scare tactic approach which might not be resonating strongly with consumers because they don’t want to be in the situation of facing almost certain death."

Instead the campaign film draws on research from Ipsos which found that 73 per cent of people surveyed about skin cancer said they cared more for the health of a loved one than their own health.

Using this insight L'Oreal decided to urge consumers to take a "proactive" look at a friend or family member to check them for signs of skin cancer. The online film features two spotted Dalmations with a fun voice over, which Raynaud said creates a "non-threating, very warm" campaign.

"You finish the video and you feel happy. You have a smile on your face and this is something that you don’t normally have with a skin cancer campaign," she added.

L'Oreal teamed with the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) to direct viewers of its campaign to BAD's Be Sun Aware platform, which offers further advice on how to quickly identify a potential problem and encourage consumers to go to see a health professional or dermatologist as soon as possible.

Since 2010 La Roche Posay has supported 20 roadshow events hosted by BAD, which checked 3600 moles, detected 24 melonoma cancers and 325 other cancers and Reynaud said she hopes the campaign can create a "social impact" which runs with longevity.

"Now that we have understood things about the consumer [following the Ipsos research] we are hoping to make it even bigger and create even more advocates."

"We hope to create a social impact to make sure that everyone can become an ambassador."

Skinchecker, which launched today (19 March) will be largely promoted on YouTube, social and via search and will help drive awareness ahead of the British Association of Dermatologists Summer Roadshow which begin in London in early May, which will roll out in other cities in the UK, all of which are supported by La Roche-Posay.

In January L'Oreal reported that its active cosmetics brands (which includes La Roche Posay) saw double-digit growth and outstanding performances from its La Roche Posay's two pillar ranges, Anthelios and Effaclar, and Raynaud said that awareness of the brand is key to maintaining this trajectory.

"In the UK we had high double digit growth for the past two years and the best way to increase it is just about increasing awareness," she told The Drum. "At the moment we are in a fabulous situation where on the one side we have consumers that are very committed, very loyal and very engaged and also a group of adovcates of the brand that you can see on Twitter.

Raynaud added that the objective now is to increase the reach of the brand and "make more people aware of this little gem", with instore training and more advisors in shops planned for the year.

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