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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

January 31, 2023 | 4 min read

Wielding a mass-media consumer campaign, Publicis Groupe aims to spread awareness about the prevalence of cancer in the workplace and how to address it.

One in two people in the US will develop cancer in their lifetimes, which means it is time to confront the issue head-on at work. Such is the message behind Working With Cancer, a new coalition formed by French holding company Publicis Groupe.

Publicis Groupe first introduced Working with Cancer on January 17 at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Today, Publicis Groupe unveiled the coalition’s first mass-media consumer campaign, which includes a national TV spot, a significant presence in Times Square, print, digital and more, culminating in over $100m worth of donated media. The campaign, which comes right in time for World Cancer Day on February 4, represents what Publicis calls a global ‘wake-up call,’ urging everyone to play their part in supporting colleagues with cancer.

truck ad that says "Half of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime"

“I think people’s intentions have always been good. It’s not like we go to work not wanting to support people with cancer, but we don’t know what support really looks like,” says Publicis Groupe’s chief strategy officer, Carla Serrano. “We are treating [this campaign] as a PSA for social change and are just hoping that everybody joins us.”

Publicis started Working with Cancer after the company’s own chief executive officer, Arthur Sadoun, was diagnosed and treated for cancer last year. The coalition, which includes founding partners like McDonald’s, Google, Unilever, Walmart and others, aims to erase the stigma and insecurity surrounding cancer in the workplace.

Central to this campaign is a film titled ‘Monday.’ Directed by Elena Petitti Di Roreto and Martin de Thurah, Monday depicts the often harrowing journey of cancer patients and the vital importance of workplace support. Many of the film’s crewmembers are cancer survivors and caregivers themselves, bringing even more personal and authentic resonance to the effort.

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“Having the empathy of people around you in the workplace when you go through cancer at work is very important for recovery,” says Publicis Groupe France’s chief creative officer Marco Venterelli. “We wanted to create a story that is universal enough to touch all sorts of people.”

The spot will also air during Super Bowl LVII, making Publicis Groupe the first holding company to ever purchase and invest in a Super Bowl spot.

For all Super Bowl LVII coverage, see our Super Bowl LVII ad scoreboard here. For more, sign up for The Drum’s daily US newsletter here.

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