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Canada

Testicular Cancer Canada launches latest bold awareness campaign #ItTakesBalls

25 Apr 2017



Testicular Cancer Canada shows that the perfect dose of humility and humor can go a long way in saving lives by launching the movement #ItTakesBalls, an initiative aimed at educating the public about testicular cancer and inspiring them to take action to destigmatize the illness and ultimately help save lives.

Created by Grip, the bilingual campaign originated from one key insight: young men generally do not talk to their doctor about their testicular health until it’s too late because they are too embarrassed to mention the subject. Yet, testicular cancer is the most prevalent cancer in men aged 15 to 29 and it is the most treatable one. So how do you break a deeply ingrained taboo? By putting it into perspective.

Testicular Cancer Canada has asked social influencers to share their most embarrassing stories, bringing attention to the fact that compared to many situations people can go through, men talking to their doctor about their testicles is hardly embarrassing. All stories are aggregated on the dedicated website ittakesballs.ca. Through a social media push, these influencers are inviting the general public to take part in the movement to destigmatize the conversation around testicular health.

This year, the charity is pushing the needle further with #ItTakesBalls, building on the major success of previous shock awareness campaigns, including the 2014 Furballs campaign, a multiaward-winning work from DentsuBos, which across Canada helped increase awareness about testicular cancer by 24% and helped triple the number of visits by men to their doctor for testicular health screenings. Last year, the charity launched another bold campaign dubbed “The Balls Whisperer” (In French, L’homme qui murmurait aux oreilles des couilles), a spoof video inspired by the work of American comedy trio The Lonely Island featuring Andy Samberg, including viral video hit “I’m on a boat”.

“The unfortunate reality is too many men ignore testicular pain because it’s embarrassing to acknowledge,” said Alexandre Désy, Executive Director and founding member at Testicular Cancer Canada, himself a testicular cancer survivor. “Because of this, an otherwise treatable disease can become something much more dangerous. We wanted to destigmatize talking about your testicles, so we treated it like an embarrassment arms race. If we made the truly embarrassing, mortifying stories in our life public, then surely young men would realize that talking to your doctor hardly compares.”

The program kicked off across Canada for Testicular cancer awareness month and features bold 30-second social videos, OOH and online banners. It spans TV, radio and print executions with the pro bono collaborative effort of Dentsu Aegis Network agencies.




Press coverage:

Adweek, These Ads Prove There Are Way More Embarrassing Things Than Getting Your Testicles Checked

Marketing Mag, Testicular Cancer Canada embraces embarrassment

Journal de Montréal, Une campagne qui a des couilles (article available in French)

Infopresse, Cancer testiculaire Canada invite à ne pas s’embarrasser de ses couilles (article available in French)

Grenier aux Nouvelles, Cancer Testiculaire Canada lance l’initiative #çaprenddescouilles (article available in French)

BLVD 102.1, Sophie Sans Compromis - La nouvelle campagne de sensibilisation de Cancer Testiculaire Canada. (article available in French)

TVA Nouvelles, Mario Dumont (article available in French)

TVA Nouvelles, Le cancer testiculaire: le plus fréquents chez les 15-29 ans (article available in French)