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Australia’s deadliest creature named in new campaign from Ogilvy Health

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Australia’s deadliest creature named in new campaign from Ogilvy Health

Bowel cancer

A terrifying new campaign from Bowel Cancer Australia and Ogilvy Health has revealed Australia’s deadliest ‘creature’ is bowel cancer. In the unsettling campaign, bowel cancer is positioned as a creature that attacks Australians in an attempt to highlight how dangerous the disease is.

Launched earlier this week, the ‘Australia’s Deadliest’ campaign features attention-grabbing headlines to tell real stories about bowel cancer, such as “42-year-old nurse left with internal organ exposed” and “44-year-old man has near fatal encounter”. The unique approach uses shock tactics to provoke and educate Australians about the disease.

Often thought of as a cancer that primarily affects older people, the campaign warns that bowel cancer is diagnosed in more than 1700 Australians under 50 every year. Ogilvy Health Group’s creative director Nina East said the challenge was to dispel the myth that bowel cancer is an “old man’s disease”. 

“We needed to jolt them into reality, dispel this misconception, and help people understand bowel cancer can affect people at any age,” she said. Through authentic real experiences, we portrayed bowel cancer as a deadly creature striking Australians aged 25-44.” 

Bowel cancer

Lived experiences at the forefront

When creating the campaign, the agency worked with five early-onset bowel cancer patients whose real-life experiences were used in the creative. 

“We set out to make a confronting campaign that would make a difference,” East said.We needed something that would motivate people to be vigilant and look for symptoms. Thanks to the bravery of five phenomenal patients and an amazing client partnership, I think we’ve achieved that.”

The campaign also features a 60-second film that utilises the same black and white imagery and tabloid-style headlines to highlight the dangers of bowel cancer. Award-winning production house AIRBAG were brought on board to help create these assets with direction by Eddy Bell.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have been part of this campaign, not only for the opportunity to tell the journeys of the amazing patients involved, but it also gave me a chance to start a dialogue around this disease with my own loved ones,” Bell said.

Bowel cancer awareness for young Australians

Bowel Cancer Australia marketing and publicity manager Stephanie Bansemer-Brown said she was proud of the campaign, and particularly the bravery of the cancer patients featured in the creative who allowed their stories to be told. Bansemer-Brown, who is also a bowel cancer survivor, highlighted the need to raise awareness about the disease among young Australians. 

“Younger people are dying from a disease that is 99 percent treatable when caught early, yet bowel cancer awareness remains low,” she said. “This campaign aims to change that. To cut through the noise and give early-onset bowel cancer a face that truly resonates with Australians.  

“The incredible teams at Ogilvy Health and AIRBAG Productions were thoughtful, considered, and collaborative to ensure the authentic voice and reality of people living with early-onset bowel cancer was at the heart of the campaign.”

The ‘Australia’s Deadliest’ campaign will be executed through TVCs, online films, OOH, digital media, social media, print and radio. 

Photography is attributed to Bowel Cancer Australia and Ogilvy Health.


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January Jones

January Jones is a freelance writer.

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