Did you know Australian men are 84% more likely to die of cancers than women?! When The Men’s Health division of Cancer Council NSW told us this fact, we knew we had something worth talking about.
After winning a competitive pitch for the Men’s Health work for Cancer Council NSW we came up with a unique way of getting men’s attention on the issues.
“It has set new records and benchmarks for any campaign we’ve done,” was Cancer Council’s response to the success of the Sh*t Mates Don’t Say campaign, created by Circul8.
The campaign features a typical Aussie bloke singing the praise of antioxidants, activated almonds, zumba and environmentally friendly cars – but the power of the concept comes through its ability to defuse difficult conversations for men with humor.
After launching the Sh*t Mates Don’t Say video the conversation rapidly took off, with over 30,000 views (note: there was ZERO media spend) and 537 Twitter users talking about the campaign plus 5.6k people liking or sharing the video on Facebook. 2,300 of those who watched the video went on to read more about the facts of the campaign, and the Men’s Health Guide PDF brochure was downloaded 350 times. All good signs that the video had prompted guys to start thinking about their health.
The men’s health campaign was supported by ambassador Vashti Whitfield, wife of late Spartacus star Andy Whitfield who lost his battle with cancer in 2011. Celebrities donated their time to talk about the issue, creating press interview and photo opportunities that helped push Cancer Council’s important message.
That message is all about overcoming the social barriers that increase men’s health risks. Having a chat with a mate about a health concern is the first step to taking the actions that Aussie men are neglecting – talking to a GP and changing lifestyle habits. “Men are putting their lives at risk – they don’t talk about their health the way women do, they don’t go to their GP as often as women and they generally drink, smoke and eat more unhealthy food than women,” says Sarah McCarthy of Cancer Council NSW. While these trends are couched in social acceptance, we hope that through its popularity the Sh*t Mates Don’t Say video can help men overcome some of these barriers to better health.