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Glam Up Your Bra — A Campaign to Raise Awareness of Breast Cancer

February 3, 2021
By Orlaith Fitzgerald

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women in Ireland. Here, more than 3,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, and more than 700 women die from the disease each year.

Despite decades of awareness campaigns, Irish women under the age of 50 were not having conversations about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer, even though women aged between 20 and 50 account for 30 percent of all diagnosed cases in Ireland.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2019, Roche partnered with the Marie Keating Foundation, one of Ireland’s leading cancer charities, to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Standing out above the noise

For more than 30 years, cancer charities across Ireland – and the world – have used Breast Cancer Awareness Month as an opportunity to promote breast health. Over the years, many organisations have simply not been able to cut through the noise and deliver their messages in a memorable way.

To address this, we wanted to run an engaging campaign that would resonate with every woman between 25 and 40, to spark conversation and raise important awareness of the disease.

We took the bra – a symbol of breast support and intimacy – to be the creative concept for the campaign. It became the centrepiece for an integrated communications campaign that informed and engaged women to learn about breast health in a colourful and unexpected way.

Going glam

While bras are typically worn under clothing, they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and fabrics, just like each woman is unique and each cancer journey is different. We tasked 20 campaign ambassadors to ‘glam up’ a plain bra using various materials and personalise it to their own taste, style and individuality. These ambassadors included well-known TV personalities, journalists, health and lifestyle influencers, and creatives; and each one took part in the campaign for free. The newly created bras would be shown externally – bringing the designed pieces to the front of the conversation, just as we wanted internal thoughts around breast cancer to be discussed externally.

Putting the bras on show

The bra creations drove the conversation – both via vibrant media coverage and on social channels. With each ambassador displaying their bra on social media, women across Ireland were encouraged to get involved by creating their own bras, and sharing them on their own channels, further amplifying the campaign’s message.

We also leveraged an existing partnership between the Marie Keating Foundation and a national retailer to display the bra creations in the window of their flagship store – on Ireland’s busiest street!

The result

The Glam Up Your Bra campaign succeeded in creating a multi-faceted, integrated and impactful campaign that resonated with women aged 25 to 40 in Ireland. Highlights include:

  • Reached 600,000 people through print, online and medical trade coverage which was amplified by more than 500,000 additional social media impressions.
  • The bra creations with call to action were viewed by over 480,000 people walking by the national retailer’s flagship store.
  • Increased site visits to breast cancer information on the Marie Keating Foundation website, doubling to more than 108% during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.