Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers yet the LGBTIQ community are less likely to screen for cervical screening than the rest of the population. Turns out even as a priority population for screening, the LGBTIQ community are often left out of ‘mainstream’ messaging. Combine this with individual screening experiences ranging from the ‘easy peasy, there’s nothing to worry about!’ all the way through to the truly traumatic, the campaign needed to do a lot more than just promote cervical screening. It was essential the campaign understood the nuances of the individual and the community.
Simply put, it was time to change the conversation around cervical cancer. So that’s exactly what we did. With national changes going down (pun intended) to the pap test in 2018, ACON decided this was the perfect time to bring a new message to the LGBTIQ community. It was crucial the campaign reached not just ‘lesbians’ but the full and fantastic spectrum of LGBTIQ people with a cervix – encouraging them to get cervical screening regardless of how they identify or who they have sex with. The brief wasn’t just about making things look and sound good, but to create a compelling campaign that harnessed the power to save lives for good.
Introducing The Inner Circle – a community campaign changing the conversation around cervical cancer. Speaking to both the cervix as a body part as well as a trusted social circle, we created a new platform from which to start a conversation around cervical cancer in the LGBTIQ community. Delivered across multiple channels, the core of the campaign saw a series of engaging videos by goodwork created with a cross-section of community ambassadors from across the LGBTIQ community. Together, through tears and laughter, love and friendship they shared their personal experiences with cervical screening and cervical cancer. To further support the campaign, ACON created ‘Check OUT’ – a free and confidential cervical and STI screening clinic for LGBTIQ people. Launching on Facebook on New Year’s Day under the banner of ‘Happy New Smear’, the first video been shared around the world and viewed more than 14,000 times. The individual story videos that followed also gained great following and support with close to 100,000 views across social media and hundreds of likes and shares.
While the campaign focused on gaining as much immediate impact with our target groups, the brand thinking focused on establishing a long-term relationship between ACON, cervical screening and the wider LGBTIQ and healthcare communities. Through this trusted brand relationship, we could then effectively and continually communicate new messages through the platform, and with greater effectiveness than focusing on the short-term goals of a campaign alone. This goodwork approach enabled the campaign to stretch far beyond aesthetics alone, and has been successful in helping to save lives through screening.