Home Campaigns Ad of the Week Ad of the Week: Chemistry’s Get Cancer Campaign for Irish Cancer Society

Ad of the Week: Chemistry’s Get Cancer Campaign for Irish Cancer Society

Chemistry has created a new provocative campaign for the Irish Cancer Society aimed at kick-starting the conversation about cancer.

The Get Cancer campaign features a host of real life cancer survivors who state that they want to get cancer.

The ad was directed by Keith Hutchinson of H2 Films.

Opening with the arresting tagline, ‘I Want to Get Cancer’, the campaign wants to stop people in their tracks and force them to acknowledge the disease that will affect one in two of us in our lifetime by 2020.

Whilst ‘Get Cancer’ doesn’t shy away from hard and important facts, it delivers the message with optimism and strength. More people are surviving cancer than ever before thanks to improved research and development; in fact, one in four cancers are preventable.

Following a number of individuals – a researcher, a young man, a daughter, a couple, and a middle-aged man – the campaign celebrates their frank and defiant discussion about the disease and highlights the support systems offered by the Irish Cancer Society, as well as the steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

Chemistry delivered the brave but necessary message to the people of Ireland to help bring about a change in attitudes to cancer.

Initially launching with four unbranded 10” teaser TV ads with a voice-over announcing the tagline, these cryptic ads were deliberately intended to invoke conversation due to the ambiguity surrounding the origin and motivation behind the message. Following the strategic launch, Chemistry then revealed that the Irish Cancer Society was behind the campaign, through the launch of a 40” TV spot, supported by outdoor, press and radio.

According to Ray Sheerin, managing director of Chemistry: “There isn’t a family that hasn’t been touched by cancer at some point in their lives. In fact, some of the agency team behind the campaign, as well as some of those who feature in it, are cancer survivors. Whilst the Irish Cancer Society is viewed as part of Ireland’s infrastructure, it isn’t state funded and 98% of the funding comes from public donation. Not only will this campaign kick-start the conversation in the fight against cancer, but it’s an important rallying cry for the volunteers and money that the charity needs to continue its stellar work.”

The thought-provoking campaign has been hugely successful in translating the initial reaction into direct action. Irish Cancer Society experienced a significant increase in demand throughout its services – with The Cancer Nurseline seeing a 100% surge in enquiries from members of the public on the day of the campaign launch (compared to the daily average). Views for the 40 second advert on Irish Cancer Society’s Facebook page rocketed to 600,000 within a short 48-hour period following the launch of its new awareness campaign.


Agency: Chemistry, Dublin, Ireland
Advertised brand: Irish Cancer Society
Advert title(s): Get Cancer
Advertising Agency: Chemistry, Dublin, Ireland
Creative Director: Emmet Wright
Art Director: Adrian Fitz-Simon, Hugh O’Connor, Fabiano Dalmácio
Copywriter: Mark Tuthill
Account Team: Ray Sheerin, Mags O’Reilly
Planning Director: Sinead Cosgrove
Digital Lead: Lisa O’Brien
Agency Producer: Conor McGuinness
Production Company: H2 Films
Director: Keith Hutchinson
Producer: Adam Sherry
D.O.P.: Ian Murray
Post Production Company: Windmill Lane
Editors: Vinny Beirne / Lee Hickey
Flame: John Kennedy
Baselight Grading: Dave Hughes
Post Production Producer: Sarah O’Carroll
Music: Denis Kilty
Sound Design / Mix: Locky Butler 

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