The Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation and McCann Paris have picked up a Grand Prix at Cannes in the Direct category for their "Bread Exam" campaign.
The idea ingeniously managed to skirt a Muslim taboo against breast exams by substituting bread dough, and included a video of chef Um Ali kneading two mounds of dough to show how women should be examining their own breasts.
“This one was a very simple, very elegant idea,” said PR Lions Jury President Gail Heimann, president and CEO of Weber Shandwick. “It used its simplicity to break through and did so in a way that was beautiful and intimate but also drove change.”
A new breast cancer awareness campaign is tackling a cultural taboo against breast self-examination among Muslim women, by using bread dough to demonstrate.
Devised originally by McCann Paris for the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation, the "Bread Exam" idea began with a video of chef Um Ali baking two mounds of dough and then kneading them to show how women should be examining their own breasts. The idea is now expanding to other markets including Turkey, Germany and the U.K., with different local influencers posting videos to get the message across to women in the Muslim communities.
The aim is to give women a visual tool of how to examine their breast tissue for changes, particularly when they don't attend regular screenings. In the U.K., for example, where McCann Health and the British Islamic Medical Association worked together on their version of the campaign, recent research has revealed that breast cancer awareness is particularly low among Muslim women and they have lower rates of screening uptake than average.
“We wanted to avoid the taboo of talking about intimate body parts or exposing them by going to health specialists for a first check-up," explained Mirna Hobballah, Vice-President of the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation, in a statement. "Since many households bake their own bread and are interested in this subject—especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic—we decided to use baking bread as a euphemism and talk to women about baking bread instead of talking about breasts, self-examination or cancer.”