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Avon India collaborates with charities to raise awareness about breast cancer in latest campaign

Cosmetic brand Avon India aims to raise awareness about breast cancer among women in India in its latest campaign.

As part of the #PayAttention campaign, Avon has rolled out a breast self-examination (BSE) video for women to help them identify the signs of breast cancer. It has also brought on board Dr. Mandeep S. Malhotra, breast oncoplastic surgeon to provide 10,000 free breast exams across cities.

Avon has further joined hands with organizations such as the Indian Cancer Society, iCongo, survivors, celebrities such as Arjun Kapoor, Virendra Sehwag, Chelsea Clinton amongst many others, and social media icons such as Bhuvan Bam and Rohan Joshi to educate people on how a simple BSE when inculcated in one’s lifestyle can help save lives.

The Drum spoke with Rahul Shanker, managing director, Avon India to find out the strategy behind this campaign.

He said: "Avon has been known around the world for championing the fight against breast cancer – deep rooted into their philosophy of ‘Beauty for a Purpose.’ The insight our agency Zeno Group India focused on while conceptualising the campaign was that while women pay attention to a lot of things – their profession, their weight, their looks amongst others; one thing they don’t pay attention to is themselves and their health, specially their breasts. In fact, it’ not only the women - it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or woman, 16 or 36, smoker and non-smoker, fit or lazy - breast cancer can hit anyone."

"Therefore, we theorised a phased journey to enable an outreach to maximum number of people who could be educated about a simple Breast Self-Examination procedure. While embarking on this journey – we ideated a 360-degree approach to trigger wider and deeper conversations that could help increase our share of voice and impact larger groups of people transcending age, professions and geographies. To do so, Avon partnered with likeminded people and organizations that could help us enhance and optimize the impact of our efforts. Avon’s endeavor was to educate people that cancer does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone and most importantly – this cancer could be cured if detected early."

As to how important social media and influencers are for the campaign, he said: "Traditional awareness campaigns usually fail to reach mass attention therefore we created a narrative that could move people to action. #PayAttention brought about the impact on-ground and leaped on towards a more informed society that learned - “Breast Cancer does not discriminate, we must #PayAttention! A Breast Self-Exam can save lives!”

The #PayAttention campaign was driven by social media interactions led by these influencers - 185 thousand interactions were created on Instagram, followed by 199 thousand interactions on Facebook posts. 12 per cent of the total online social buzz on breast cancer was created by Avon breast cancer movement, #PayAttention.

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