Serena Williams touches herself to highlight women's breast health

Serena Williams is fronting an emotive Breast Cancer awareness campaign urging women to touch themselves to stay on top of breast health.

The sporting superstar has recorded a version of The Divinyls, classic song “I touch myself” as part of a campaign by Berlei, which coincides with International Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Williams is a long-term brand ambassador for the lingerie brand and the face of its sports and active ranges.

The campaign is an extension of the award-winning 'I Touch Myself Project', which launched in 2014 to spread awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

The campaign was a tribute to Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett, who died from breast cancer in 2013 and wanted her global hit to become an anthem for women’s health around the world. The 2014 campaign featured Australian singers including Olivia Newton-John and Sarah Blasko and was viewed by over 400 million people worldwide.

The Berlei campaign will feature an 80-second music video of Williams singing the song, which will be shared via social channels, as well as a cutdown version for TV. The video has been directed by Daniel Askill, the Grammy-nominated director of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ video.

Berlei has also released a limited-edition snakeskin print range, called ‘The Chrissy’ after the rock star. The range includes a T-shirt bra which is lined with the words “I Touch Myself” to remind women to examine their breasts for early signs of breast cancer when they are getting dressed each day.

Simon Langley, executive creative director, J. Walter Thompson Sydney said, “Getting young women to pay attention to a breast cancer message isn’t easy. But grabbing their attention with the things they love is. So we decided to start this important conversation by speaking to some of their greatest passions: music, sport and celebrity. And Serena is no ordinary celebrity. She’s a strong, powerful ambassador who is not afraid to stand up and make herself heard on the issues close to her heart."

"Serena is a passionate believer in women taking care of themselves and, although she has never recorded a song before, chose to sing this breast health anthem as a powerful reminder of the importance of self-examination,” said Langley.

Andrea Michelle, marketing manager for Berlei, said, “We’ve been thrilled to bring together our long-term Berlei ambassador Serena Williams, and the I Touch Myself Project, uniting for a common purpose and to raise money for Breast Cancer Network Australia.”

Sinead Roarty, associate creative director J. Walter Thompson Sydney said: “Serena Williams has a voice. Whether you agree with her or not, you can’t help but listen. And her voice is both powerful and vulnerable. Serena brings Chrissy Amphlett’s song to life in a way that is equally raw and soulful to deliver our message as simply as possible: touch yourself.

“Singing straight to camera while looking unflinchingly down the barrel is a big ask for even the most seasoned pro. Serena nailed it in three takes. Serena is the champion of champions. And now as a champion of women’s health, the message to take your breast health into your own hands will be heard by young women all around the world.”

The national campaign includes print, outdoor, online, and a microsite, all developed by J. Walter Thompson.

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