Posts Tagged ‘yes to life no to cancer campaign’

At the beginning of the last month I wrote a post called ‘What do you mean no to cancer?’ about a Saudi campaign promoting cancer awareness. My main point was that campaign slogan was lame and not only that; it was a bit offensive.

Now, I want you to compare that campaign with the one carried out by the staff of the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, USA. The breast cancer awareness programs usually encourage participants to wear those little pink ribbons so whoever sees them will be reminded of the cause. However, those staff decided to change the rules of the game and go out and dance … literally!

The video showing more than 200 of the hospital staff dancing made a surprising success. It was posted online around the beginning of Nov. and it is passing 2,000,000 hits by now on Youtube. Although the success of the video was beyond the hospital staff expectations, the surprising success goes even further to include the cancer patients themselves. The simplicity, fun, heartwarming feelings surrounding the video made it appealing to patients to relate to the video, to feel it. Reportedly, many patients celebrated the video, and sometimes with tears, and found it so passionate in delivering the message about their disease. Now watch the video:



It worth mentioning here that the idea was originally created by the company that actually produced those pink gloves to remind people of the cause whenever they see them. Of course that before the hospital took it a bit further by their dancing video. Now the company is donating part of its pink gloves profits to support women who cannot afford mammograms checks payments.

So we have three goals scored by one ball; a company advertised its product, a hospital contributed to a noble awareness campaign, and … can you guess the third goal?

Let me put this way, don’t you just want to go there and shake hands with those hospital staff? Carrying out that dance throughout the hospital own rooms and being happy and acting ‘goofy’ on the same time gave the impression that this is a happy place to be around. Yes, it is a hospital, we know, it is usually associated with pain and sickness, but this place! It seems everybody is having fun so there is a huge chance that I might find a good treatment over there! Let me end with the comment from one of the cancer patients after seeing the video: ‘laughter is the ultimate medicine’ …


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It has been three days now since I start noticing some kind of ads on street billboards with few words on them and bunch of logos stating ‘Yes to life … No to cancer.’ Now, I do not know if it is only me … or these few words are bit offensive!

It turned out that these ads are part of the Saudi ministry of health (MoH) cancer awareness campaign. And it seems that a similar campaign with a similar tagline had taken place last year as well. This is something we should all be thankful for and MoH should be credited for their efforts in providing the public with basic information about how to prevent cancer by cutting out bad habits like smoking or considering preliminary medical care to minimize breast cancer. But with this tagline … pleeeeeeease!!!

Cancer is not something that can be easily prevented by covering your mouth while sneezing or running out of a room when someone lights a cigarette. So what about those who already have cancer and happen to see these ads; why should we tell them that they have a disease that is against life. In other words, why should we shout at them that cancer means death (we know that this is not true in all cases)!! I can hardly  imagine how emotionally and psychologically affecting such a message is for those who have cancer or those who lost someone because of it?

The bottom line is that this tagline gives you the impression that you should be blamed if you got cancer. And if you got it, you are an outcast (No to cancer!!). This sense of guilt and responsibility is not the right message that should be communicated in an awareness campaign, or any campaign for that matter. People tend to show resistance to any blames and that usually lead them to take a defensive position and miss the whole point of such ads.

Am I exaggerating; could be! What do you think?

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