Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation: Spirit-coworkers

Some Women Run It Every Year.

Where most charity advertising is fake & happy or horribly realistic and depressing, we found an extremely compelling and simultaneously empowering and hopeful way to position this charity event. Our media director also managed to transform $500K of paid media into $6Million (and counting) of donated media.

Advertising Agency: Cundari Group, Toronto, Canada
Creative Director: Fred Roberts
Art Director: Mike Dietrich
Copywriter: Tim Das
Photographer: Chris Gordaneer
Media Director: Anne Wood
Published: August 2007

17 comments

wweeeessst's picture
wweeeessst

"Where most charity advertising is fake & happy or horribly realistic and depressing, we found an extremely compelling and simultaneously empowering and hopeful way to position this charity event. Our media director also managed to transform $500K of paid media into $6Million (and counting) of donated media."

All I have to say is... lol.

laylowmoe's picture
laylowmoe
328 pencils

I like the idea (and BTW, the line is what makes it work), but I don't know where they get off calling other charity ads depressing. Aren't they saying that some women can't run this race because they're dead?

fatbOy's picture
fatbOy

What we are saying (I'm the copywriter of this campaign) is that the spirits of all those women who have succumbed to the breast cancer will be running amongst us on event day, just as they do every year. -t

andrej dwin's picture
andrej dwin
939 pencils

yup. that's exactly what everyone here feels as a bit depressing message.

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Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

Fortunately you don't speak for this "everyone" you mentioned.

Wordnerd's picture
Wordnerd
6660 pencils

"the spirits of all those women who have succumbed to the breast cancer will be running amongst us"?? ah i get it: women spirits are pink! so i'm going to be a blue one? cool.. sorry but this campaign nearly made me throw up

bubblestheclownfish's picture
bubblestheclownfish
618 pencils

Ummm... yeah. Not feeling this one. "Some Women Run It Every Year"? Ummm... duh. Tons of women run it every year. All I see is a pink ghost running it _this_ year.

ccsman04's picture
ccsman04
165 pencils

Being from Michigan I understand how the Canadians think... funny but not too bright. Like this campaign for instance, its funny how bad it is (and they dont even know that themselves) and the execution is not too bright. Better luck next time.. eh.

bubblestheclownfish's picture
bubblestheclownfish
618 pencils

Ummm... I'm Canadian, and I know how bad this is.

Oh, and by the way - Michigan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the US:
"In the state of Michigan, 18 percent of adults, nearly one in five, were functionally illiterate. Detroit had the one of the highest illiteracy rates in the country, with 47 percent of its residents, nearly one out of two, scoring at Level I in the NIL survey." The National Institute of Literacy.

Now THAT'S funny! ;-)

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

I'm not even sure that ccsman04 knows how ccsman04 thinks, much less Canadians.

kyao888's picture
kyao888
127 pencils

I think the idea is great. I will probably not use pink at all on that ghost shot. Maybe try "gray out".

There is no need to have the text IMO.

The Welder's picture
The Welder

Wow, such harsh criticism. Maybe it's just me, but I was touched in a small way by this ad. I think the idea comes through very clearly and effectively.

Corner Store's picture
Corner Store
229 pencils

Pink is probably used for the ghost because the color pink is almost like another logo for this foundation. Pink is a big part of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundations identity.

teenie's picture
teenie
1894 pencils

It's beyond easy - it's lame. I'd bet the creative team were alotted half an hour for the pro-bono, and this is all they had time to come up with. That or client services did it themselves.

fatbOy's picture
fatbOy

Tim here again (the copywriter of the campaign) - Interesting discussion thread indeed.

I'm just going to throw out some food for thought: it's true that the reaction to this campaign from the "creative community" has defo been mixed here in Toronto as well. But the one largely consistent positive reaction however, has been from stakeholders- people who've lost loved ones to the disease, survivors, oncologists and medical professionals, counsellors - some of whom have broken down in tears of bittersweetness.

The split in reaction is quite telling- it truly begs the question 'just who do we make ads for?...' CD's and awards-show judges? Or the target group? My conscience + a commerce degree from the top biz school in Canada says 'the latter'. Some of you may believe otherwise. I suppose we're all entitled to our opinion.

-t

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

I appreciate the comment and I think that many (read most) of us here on the site see your point of view entirely. Just as ads are submitted to their respective medias of print, screen, etc. to garner the attention of consumers and stakeholders as you point out, ads are added to AOTW for creative criticism and review.

In the music industry there is no doubt that the Pussy Cat Dolls are box office sweethearts, driving dollar growth for their record labels. Creatively though, they don't bring much to the table. You will see very few reviews in credible journals and papers from respected music reviewers who will claim that their albums are pieces of art simply because the common masses so approve.

If you want an ad to be popular with men a zoomed in cleavage shot normally works (you can find many examples on this site), but we don't usually consider it to be exceptional advertising either.

That's not to say that this is a bad campaign in any way. In fact you'll see above that I stated I was a fan. I'm just letting you know that shareholder reaction (and often even whether or not an ad will increase sales) doesn't seem to carry much weight at all in most forums of this type.

This is a decidedly "harsher" critique panel that will ignore your targets existing emotional attachment and instead assume that the person seeing it has never even heard of cancer. If you're really lucky, there may also be a penis reference and someone swearing in Spanish.

redrover's picture
redrover
2 pencils

Ahhhh....to the guy from Michigan, ccsman04:

Being from Michigan, you most likely know how people from Windsor think. So before you go judging Canadians based on your (no doubt) familiarity with a small city, you might want to take into consideration that Canada made off with a decent number of Film and Cyber Lions, as well as some Press Lions at this year's Cannes Advertising Festival, not to mention the coveted Grand Prix in both the Film and Cyber categories. Funny, I didn't happen to see any winning agencies from Michigan in any of the categories this year.

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