A man dances with loo roll in humorous NHS ad to encourage bowel cancer screening
NHS England is paying a visit to the bathroom to remind the public to complete their bowel cancer screening test.
B-roll footage sees the public health body remind viewers that “your next poo could save your life”, by depicting a man ‘ribbon dancing’ with toilet paper to the tune of I’ve Got to Be Me by Sammy Davis Jr.
Developed in partnership with M&C Saatchi London, the ad shows that there is nothing to be embarrassed about when taking a stool sample at home to send off for testing, with a third of those who receive a kit failing to look out for number one after doing a number two.
Seeking to smash a societal taboo the campaign aims to scotch assumptions that if you are not presenting any symptoms then there is no need to test, while also addressing hygiene fears and cultural sensitivities.
Phil Bastable, deputy director, head of marketing and social media team, NHS England, said: “This campaign by M&C Saatchi London addresses a serious, sensitive issue in an engaging and memorable way, showing how taking this quick, easy-to-use test really does have the power to save your life.”
Personifying this approach is a man in his 50s who breaks into a rhythmic dance while heading to the toilet, turning a loo roll into a makeshift ribbon in a celebration of life.
Quick cuts subsequently show a completed bowel cancer screening kit while a voiceover intones: “if you’re sent a bowel cancer screening kit, put it by the loo. Don’t put it off.”
Guy Bradbury, creative partner, M&C Saatchi London, adds: “to remind people who have been invited to take the bowel cancer test next time they go to the loo, we wanted to create a campaign that was distinctive, memorable and joyous, reminding people – through ribbon dance – that a simple screening test could save their lives. Or in the words of Sammy Davis Jr, ‘Live, not merely survive.”
The TV campaign is complemented by video-on-demand, search, social, online video and community radio.
Previous attempts to break through to the public on the sensitive issue include a visit by Lisa Snowdon to the village of Shitterton and moves by Andrex to advertise bowel cancer symptoms on its packaging.
M&C Saatchi London
Creative partner: Guy Bradbury
Creative director: Tom Kennedy
Copywriter: Amy Parkhill
Art director: Ed East
Agency producer: Ashley Williams
Executive producer: Gareth Williams
Senior account director: Tabby Powell-Tuck
Senior account manager: Emma Lowrey
Senior strategist: Hannah Thomson
Head of behavior change: Richard Storey
Client partner: Angus Maclay
Executive producer: Medb Riordan
Producer: Georgina Smith
Production assistant: Heza Jalloh
DOP: Sebastian Wintero
Choreographer: Supple Nam
Production designer: Mikey Hollywood
1st AD: Clara Paris
Costume designer: Lucy Hagan
Edit house: The Assembly Rooms
Editor: Sam Rice-Edwards
Post house: nineteen twenty
Colorist: Kai van Beers
Sound design: James Saunders
Music supervision: Lizz Harman at DLMDD
Deputy director, head of marketing and social media: Phil Bastable
Lead campaigns manager: Ben King
Senior campaigns manager: Imelda McAloon