Empty Pink Seats Act as Breast-Cancer Awareness Tools

Avon Raises Research Money in Romania

Published on .

Brand: Avon
Brand Owner: Avon Cosmetics
Category: Toiletries/cosmetics
Region: Romania
Date: September 2006 through October 2006
Media Agency: Starcom
Other Agencies : Dare, SS Consulting
Media Channels: Mobile, web, print, out of home, cinema, ambient

Avon was keen to promote to women the need for simple self-examinations to catch breast cancer in its early stages. Globally, the cosmetics giant has been promoting the fight against the disease since 1992, raising more than $300 million for research and prevention programs.
Subway station seats got the pink treatment to help raise breast cancer awareness.
Subway station seats got the pink treatment to help raise breast cancer awareness.

Avon introduced this campaign to Romania in 2002, but until 2006 the company hadn't worked with a single agency to coordinate the entire project.

The key insight behind last year's activity was that one in eight women is at risk of developing breast cancer. The challenge for Starcom was to communicate this in a way that would make women take action.

In cinemas, tickets were not sold for one in eight places and seats were painted pink to help raise awareness among those who did manage to get tickets. A similar method was used at hair salons -- again, one in eight seats was left empty, and painted pink. Subway station seats and buses also got the pink treatment. Everywhere they went, consumers were confronted by the one-in-eight message, impressively brought to life in the color of the breast-cancer campaign.

In addition, diaries of real women with breast cancer were published in magazines and broadcast on TV, and local celebrities backed the campaign and encouraged women to get involved.

The innovative executions helped boost awareness by 30% and the amount of money raised for research increased by 43%.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database. csquared.cc
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