Cancer Research preps 'defiant' campaign to relaunch Race for Life

Cancer Research is relaunching Race for Life with a “defiant” marketing campaign designed to shift the focus on to the cause rather than the event as it looks to unify women in the fight to beat cancer.

The campaign introduces the creative concept ‘Cancer, we’re coming for you’ and is designed to be a “positive, proactive response to beating cancer.”

Activity includes TV, cinema, radio, press digital and direct mail as well as national PR, events and social media. The 60-second TV ad breaks on 1 March.

The campaign, the charity’s first since appointing Mother to handle its creative account, brings the marketing for the fundraising event in line with the overhauled branding Cancer Research UK introduced last year.

“Race for Life has its own voice, branding and colour palette but it all stems from the mother brand. We’re personifying cancer and saying things you wouldn’t expect which aim to make cancer seem more beatable,” says Emma Hyatt Cancer Research UK’s head of Race for Life.

“If you look at campaigns for the past few years they were very focused on the events themselves as a fun and rewarding way to raise funds but from a look and feel perspective there’s not much difference between them. This is a complete step-change putting the cause at the heart,” she says.

PR activity includes a series of 11 regional launch events designed to bring Race for Life “to a town near you” and features a dance routine the charity will be encouraging supporters to learn. It will also form part of the war-up to each race this summer.

Race for Life was launched 18 years ago which Hyatt says means the charity has to ensure that it is still relevant amongst the increasingly competitive events fundraising space.

“Dialling up the cause is a big part of it but we also need to make sure that Race for Life is differentiated enough from rivals as there are far more charity fundraising events that there were when we launched,” she says.

Another aspect of Race for Life’s latest creative strategy is to make sure that supporters realise that the funds raised from the event go towards research into curing all types of cancers, not just breast cancer or those that affect women, although only women can participate in the race itself.

The Race for Life brand has also been refreshed in line with the Cancer Research UK parent brand.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I lost my dad to cancer and this advert really got my attention. I felt such anger towards "The Cancer" as if it was a living thing, a parasite. Although my dad was an author I could not find the words to speak at his funeral. I wanted to make him proud. The night before a poem came to me.
    Nobody had touched on the hate and anger
    previously and on how it becomes an entity unlike other illnesses.

    I did find the strength to read it at the service.

    I would like to share it with you.

    "My Dad was big and strong, until a monster came along,
    "There is no such thing" my dad had said,
    "Not in your wardrobe or under the bed"
    But now I know this is not true , 'coz big and angry that Monster grew !
    For seven years you made him fight with all his strength and all his might.
    And when you laid him down to rest, did you really think you came out best ?
    He may have lost his battle to you but won the fight when you died to !!
    And now to a better place he has gone,
    where once again, he is "Big and Strong!"
    Portia Hogan
    (written 1997)
    Thank you

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