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Advertising Prostate Cancer Research

Prostate Cancer Canada inserts famous fingers to urge more men to get tested


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

May 8, 2018 | 4 min read

No man wants to get the dreaded digital rectal examination (DRE) to get checked for prostate cancer, but it’s one of the most critical health checks in a man’s life. A new campaign by McCann Canada for Prostate Cancer Canada is trying to ease the uncomfortable feeling by introducing famous fingers from history.

Famous Fingers

Famous Fingers

To raise awareness and encourage men to get checked, Prostate Cancer Canada is testing the ‘Famous Fingers Collection,' a line of latex gloves modeled after famous people to research which men prefer. Famous fingers like that of Babe Ruth, Otis Redding, Abraham Lincoln and others are seen in a humorous video where four men are bent over being examined by doctors.

In the video, the men are subjected to the different ‘historic’ gloves to varying degrees of feedback. When Frankenstein is inserted, one man says, “surprisingly sensitive," while a response to Babe Ruth is “it feels like it’s all over the place.” All are in agreeance on Winston Churchill being comfortable, while Thor elicited the query “is that two fingers?”

A voiceover asks, “is there a finger famous enough to get you tested?” It ends with a shot of the collection of hand models of various famous fingers, with the tag states, “It just might save your life.”

The collection of fingers can be viewed at and is designed to trigger a broader discussion around a serious topic that men traditionally prefer to avoid.

”It’s about normalizing the conversation around prostate exams and stressing the importance of detecting prostate cancer early,” said Peter Coleridge, president and chief executive officer of Prostate Cancer Canada. “We know that men are uncomfortable with the idea of getting their prostates checked, but early detection can save lives. Any alternative to being examined by your doctor is quite absurd, which the campaign captures perfectly. Would you prefer to have your prostate checked by your doctor, or by Big Foot? We’ll let you decide.”

One in seven Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and more than 4,000 men were estimated to die from the disease in 2017, but that story is changing. Since 2001, the number has been decreasing by an average of 3.3% per year, primarily attributed to early diagnosis and better treatment options. Men in their 40s are encouraged to get a baseline PSA test, and those at a higher risk for prostate cancer should talk to their doctor even before age 40.

"Men aren’t talking about prostate health. They’re not fascinated by it the way they are with sports, movies and music. So, we’ve combined the thing that they don’t like to talk about, with the things that they do, to create a humorous and fun way for guys to start thinking about their prostate health,” said David Leonard, chief executive, McCann Worldgroup Canada. "Our goal is to get men talking to each other and their doctors, and to turn an awkward conversation into the kind of conversation they have every day.”

The multi-platform integrated campaign consists of digital video, newspaper, posters, radio, PR and social all driving to using the hashtag #famousfingers.

Prostate Cancer Canada: advert-body-2 by McCann Canada

By Prostate Cancer Canada

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