This article is written by Susan Manber, Chief Strategy Officer at Digitas Health, and is one of Outcome Health’s health advocacy partners.
Skin cancer is a condition so rampant among Americans that The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates more than two people in the U.S. die of the disease every hour and 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. In an effort to reduce those frightening human statistics, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Digitas Health in partnership with Outcome Health has taken to doctor’s offices around the country to inform patients and caregivers with a first-of-its-kind experiential national campaign called The Big See.
Skin cancer is unique in that we can see it as it develops and can prevent it in clear, tangible ways. Leveraging the seriousness of cancer (“The Big C”), The Big See aims to get people to identify skin cancer with three simple words—new, changing, unusual—via a personal story that brings the relevance and advice to life in a very personal way.
Supporting Patient Awareness
Informed and educated patients are essential for spreading awareness and taking preventative measures. Digitas Health, an agency within the Publicis network, conceptualized and executed the pro bono campaign, continuing its partnership with The Skin Cancer Foundation since 2017. For insights to conceptualize the campaign, I had the privilege of sharing my personal story as a skin cancer survivor.
One single question saved my life: “What’s that?”
I will be forever grateful to my daughter, Sarina, for asking me, “Mom, what’s that thing on your nose?” Had I ignored her, even for a few weeks, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s why my personal mission is to do everything in my power to help people prevent and detect skin cancer.
When skin cancer is caught and treated early it’s highly curable. But when allowed to progress, it can cause disfigurement and even death. Luckily, skin cancer is a cancer that can be seen—and the most powerful tool to detect it is your eyes. Taking this to the next level, The Big See kicked off with an interactive, high-tech mirror that helped people recognize what to look for. This experience was displayed and recorded in the middle of San Diego’s Pacific Beach boardwalk as the TV launch of a broadcast PSA.
The mirror educated passersby on the dangers of skin cancer, motivating them to check their skin for anything new, changing or unusual—reinforcing the fact that early detection is very personal. The voice behind the mirror belongs to a comic who expertly uses humor and the art of improvisation to excite and engage everyone.
According to Brian Lefkowitz, Chief Creative Officer for Digitas Health, “The Big See was a unique chance for us to use humor to get people to care about skin cancer. It was about striking the right balance of humor and seriousness to motivate more people to actually see skin cancer before it was too late.”
The mirror encouraged viewers to check themselves for signs of skin cancer and to visit a dermatologist for a professional skin exam. But it didn’t stop there. People across the country will encounter The Big See as The Skin Cancer Foundation embarks on a “mirror takeover” in various locations. Branded mirror clings have been placed in businesses and public spaces, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of identifying and acting on any concerns.
Reaching patients at their point of care plays a vital role in The Big See campaign, which is why The Skin Cancer Foundation selected Outcome Health as the distribution platform for bringing this empathetic and informative campaign into physicians’ offices, waiting rooms, infusion centers and health systems across the United States. As the leading point of care content provider with the largest network of screens nationwide, Outcome Health is known for its unrivaled scale and curated content dedicated to the patient experience.
Patient Education at the Point of Care
“We are proud to partner with Sue Manber and The Skin Cancer Foundation to bring The Big See‘s important message to audiences in those moments when they’re with their doctor making informed decisions about their health,” said Matt McNally, Chief Executive Officer, Outcome Health. “We are dedicated to curating an experience at the point of care that patients, caregivers and physicians can’t find anywhere else. The Big See engages patients with relevant, actionable information that can empower them to stay safe and healthy.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that adults see a dermatologist at least once a year for a skin exam and perform monthly self-exams at home. A simple check can save your life—or someone else’s!
About Sue Manber
Sue Manber has deep health and wellness brand building experience spanning virtually every therapeutic area, from women’s health to nutrition. She was drawn to Digitas Health eight years ago with the best remit of all – to help create the planning discipline of the future. Early on in her career, Sue gave birth to her first child and her first planning department at the famously creative agency, Ammirati & Puris, the same year. Several mergers gave that agency a global presence, and Sue led the charge to build a worldwide planning discipline, driven by the belief that planning is fundamentally the art of asking better questions. An entrepreneur at heart, she also helped found two start up agencies in the early days of the Internet and DTC communications.
Today, Sue’s intrepid planning team at Digitas Health, now 18 strong, draws on the most contemporary, real-time data and research tools to deeply understand the realities of the marketplace and always remain people-inspired. Sue is extremely proud of the multiple gold Effies and gold Lions the campaigns she has helped lead have won, proving that the most creative brand ideas are also the ones that build client business the most.