The second ad I am reviewing was released by Pancreatic Cancer Action under the “I wish I had…” campaign, where pancreatic cancer sufferers are shown explaining that they wished they had breast, cervical or testicular cancer because their chances of survival would be greater..

As a charity the PCA had a very low budget to work with to create an effective campaign, in order to deliver an important message. I believe the objective was to be blunt, straightforward and to create a shock factor. Although it may have come across as offensive to some, PCA did a lot of research in the response they would receive from their audience and still felt it appropriate to air these ads.

“The decision to run this campaign was not taken lightly, and we carried out a fair amount of research to understand what the likely reaction was going to be.” (Stunt, 2014). – Ali Stunt is the chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer Action.

I believe the intended target audience is adults in the UK, the reason being only adults were displayed in their advertisements and they made note of the fact that pancreatic cancer is the 5th largest of cancer killers in the UK.

Why did the brand choose a controversial approach? –  Pancreatic cancer is one of the largest killers out of the 22 types of known cancers and only receives about 1% of cancer research funding.  With a limited budget, it was vital that the advert would stand out and provoke and initiate discussion amongst members of the public, the media and influencers.  The advertisement is bold and due to the response it generated it’s very likely to get lodged in peoples memories therefore be effective.

I might have improved on the ad by making clearer comparisons as to why certain patients “wish they had..” and maybe added a “I wish I had a way to know”…emphasising the need for research funding

Essentially the effect of the controversy was that other types of cancer patients such as breast, cervical and testicular cancer took offense to the ad.

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said in a statement: “We strongly dispute any message which suggests that one type of cancer is preferable to another.

“We believe Pancreatic Cancer Action’s recent campaign does just this. I’ve yet to meet a man or woman with breast cancer who would consider themselves in any way fortunate to have received a diagnosis.” – Chris Askew

Needless to say, with a such a small budge, this ad packed a punch!


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