As the temperatures sizzled and the beaches packed, I couldn’t but help think about one of the best marketing campaigns of the year. Aussies love the sun, and love telling friends about it on social media. But every time we do, we make a new friend, _melenoma.
Melanoma is a skin cancer that kills 1500 Australians each year and is the most lethal cancer in 15-30 year olds. Melanoma Likes Me was created by Melanoma Patients Australia as a digital advertising campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of prolonged dangerous exposure to the sun.
The first step of the campaign was to create an online persona for Melanoma to communicate with the target audience. Using a unique algorithm, the _melenoma page was able to search for and respond to popular hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Words such as #beach #sunbake and #poolside were targeted, along with geo-located images such as @bondi.
Users who uploaded a photo would receive an unexpected 'like' from _melanoma with unique tailored messages from their new ‘friend’. These were sent right at the moment which mattered the most, as the audience were exposed to the sun.
|Source: Ellen Fromm Youtube|
The single-minded proposition for the campaign was to educate and raise awareness at the point of exhibiting unsafe sun behaviour. What was so clever about this campaign is the way it was able to connect through the use of technology to young Australians spending time out in the sun. More than 2 million people have already received a message from _melanoma, resulting in a 1371% increase in unique visits to the Skincheck mobile website.
The campaign, developed by George Patterson Y&R, has since been recognised with multiple awards at the Cannes Lions 2015 festival. What I think is so special about its delivery is the ability to effectively target the audience in real time. Advertising is as much about getting attention as it is about changing behaviour. The personalised messages serve as a reminder to always use sunscreen or put on a hat to protect yourself from sun damage.
So next time you share a photo on social media with an associated hashtag, you may too receive a message from _melenoma.
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School