Amsterdam, 9 October 2023 – In the Netherlands, every year 17,000 women and 100 men get diagnosed with breast cancer. What many people don’t know is that 20% – 25% of these people are younger than 50 years old. For young adults and their doctors breast cancer is not top of mind. Even when symptoms arise. Too often they get diagnosed at a later stage, making it harder to get treatment. That is why the Breast Care Foundation, together with the Alexander Monro Hospital, wants to create awareness and educate the younger generation about the importance of knowing your breasts. Therefore, TBWA\NEBOKO developed ‘The Breast Cancer Alphabet’, an animated series of 26 letters that represent different factors related to breast cancer.
Statistics from research from the Alexander Monro Hospital:
- 1 in 5 women never check their breasts.
- 84% of people can think of only one symptom of breast cancer: a lump.
- 85% of people are not aware that most possible symptoms of breast cancer are detected by looking at your breasts.
Marjolein de Jong is a former oncological surgeon, chairwoman of the Alexander Monro Hospital and founder of the Breast Care Foundation. She emphasizes the sense of urgency for this campaign: “In the Netherlands, 1 in 7 women will get diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. Between 20% and 25% of those women are younger than 50. Our reality is that we see too many young patients come in for treatment at a later stage with an aggressive form of cancer. We know that most people are not aware that there are more symptoms than a lump and that many symptoms are visible if you check your breasts regularly by feeling, as well as looking. That is why awareness and education are especially important for young adults. The earlier we can diagnose and treat these women and men, the greater their chance of recovery.”
From left to right: patient Ginette Doelwijt, ambassador Floortje Dessing and Marjolein de Jong, director of the Alexander Monro Hospital and founder of the Dutch Breast Care Foundation.
The campaign’s mission is to educate younger men and women about the 26 factors and symptoms of breast cancer and the importance of regular checks.
Hannah Sterke & Nina Mispelblom Beijer, Creatives at TBWA\NEBOKO:
“During our research, we discovered how few people are familiar with the symptoms of breast cancer. We all know the infamous lump, but there are so many more symptoms and factors to pay attention to. Enough to create an entire alphabet apparently. The Breast Cancer Alphabet gives both men and women in the Netherlands an accessible tool to educate themselves. We hope this will help to detect breast cancer at earlier stages.”
The campaign kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was launched with (ex) patients, their families, friends, doctors, and caretakers, who told their stories to the press. Alongside the press event, the campaign will be visible on narrowcastings in 600 GP practices across the Netherlands, and the medical posters will be sent to universities and hospitals, too. Various publishers, brands and media outlets have offered free advertising space to showcase the alphabet to a wide audience.
Darre van Dijk, CCO TBWA\NEBOKO: “At TBWA\NEBOKO we love to use our creative talent to contribute to causes that touch our hearts. The Breast Cancer Alphabet is an amazing example of how creativity can create awareness for important topics. Charity campaigns depend on what people want to donate, even when it comes to media. It is great to see how this cause fired up our own people and every media partner that we reached out to.”
Watch the online video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ZdQ5HfjC4
Client: Alexander Monro Hospital, Breast Care Foundation
Agency: TBWA\NEBOKO, TBWA\X
PR: Ovide Agency
Media Agency: EssenceMediacom
Production: MAKE by TBWA\NEBOKO
Photographer: Maxime Cardol (represented by Czar Amsterdam)
DOP: Tom Enzler
Sound: Joris Prakken
Location Campaign Launch: Jaarbeurshallen Utrecht
Technology: Raam Digital Cinema B.V.