Colorectal cancer ranks as the 3rd most common oncology disease for men and the 2nd for women in Portugal. Yet the concept of screening is still not mainstream.
Early detection translates to a 90% survival rate, yet the topic is still a bit taboo. The sort of thing we don’t want to talk about or even think about… until now.
Thanks to a collaboration between Médis, and the Ageas Foundation, attention on screening has been raised to new levels. Ageas Portugal Group launched a compelling campaign, in collaboration with the National Association of Pharmacies, inviting the 50+ population (those most at risk) for screening through faecal occult blood testing. The test kits were offered at a symbolic cost of EUR 5, with the first 4,000 kits being free, as was the case for Médis customers.
By educating and demystifying the topic, the goal of the campaign was to increase people’s comfort level and to inspire action. Two powerful testimonials by 50+ people in the prime of their lives, made the message highly relatable. The campaign attracted more than 4,000 people for screening and from this group 4.2% were identified as positive, which proves the importance of such initiatives.
Based on these encouraging results, the effort to raise awareness continues to grow. This year Ageas Portugal is bringing younger generations into the conversation in the hope that they will help influence and motivate their 50+ family members and friends to get screened. Employees and influencers help to spread the message that ‘We want you here’, to break down the taboos around what can still be an uncomfortable topic to discuss by using the power of emoji’s to drive home the message. Initial results are encouraging with close to 2,000 coming forward for screening over a period of 10 weeks and with close to 6%cases identified as positive.
The idea to address the issue of colorectal cancer came from the comic book that had been created by the organisation Stop Colon Cancer to increase awareness. The organisation recognises the critical importance of early screening, and for several years has sought to create greater awareness around the topic through various communications initiatives. Their unique comic book campaign went viral, touching a wider audience also thanks to social media. The organisation is now translating the comic book in several languages to distribute this among the world. AG in Belgium also raised awareness to support the Stop Colon Cancer organisation by internal and external awareness campaigns. Their aftermovie of the campaign has reached over 1 million people.