It’s always great to see charities, and ‘for a cause’ organizations having access to great advertising and marketing minds, and using that knowledge to really bring their cause to the public. That is the case in this new awareness campaign from the Swedish cancer foundation, Cancerfonden, called Play in the Shade.
The Play in the Shade campaign involved the construction of a large shaded area in a busy Stockholm park by the Cancerfonden. But, this wasn’t a shade structure like any other seen before, thanks to clear lines in the top that cause the sun to shine through and create a soccer field. The field can only be seen between the hours of 11am and 3pm daily, which are also the hours that the Cancerfonden recommends people stay out of the sun. Kids and adults alike took to the field and had a game of soccer, all while staying completely sun safe.
The Problem For Cancerfonden
Cancerfonden faces an issue that is quite common among charities and health foundations: it’s hard to get your message across. People are used to having advertisement bombarded at them at every moment of the day, and in the midst of all of that buy and sell noise it can be hard to get a public health announcement heard by the people.
In the past, foundations like the Cancerfonden have used a variety of different advertising techniques, with shock being quite a popular choice. But the problem is that shock will only get you so far, and it’s nice to see a charity catching on to the growing trend of guerrilla advertising in such an innovative way.
What really works about this campaign is that it is super playful. Although it does draw attention to the problems of skin cancer in Sweden, which have seen substantial increase since 2000, it manages to do so in a enjoyment based way.
Cancerfonden has been really clever here in anticipating the wants and needs of the Swedish people. In countries see hundreds of days of sunshine every year, it’s easy for cancer foundations to tell people to stay inside during the middle of the day. However, in areas of Sweden where, for months at a time, less than 4 hours of sunshine a day is normal, it can be hard to keep people out of the sun.
So, instead of keeping people out of the sun, Cancerfonden have flipped the issue positively, encouraging people to find ways to enjoy the day, the sunlight and the summer while still staying sun safe.
The funny thing about Play in the Shade is that when you break it down, it’s a very simple campaign. But, it has such a stunning visual element, and such a memorable concept that it’s sure to spread throughout Sweden and even globally. This is always what marketers and advertisers want from their work, but it’s even better to see that potential for viral sharing happening for such a great cause.
Remember, this summer Play in the Shade!