Multipartite project – Action against skin cancer
Euromelanoma is an international campaign for increased awareness, prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma and other skin cancers. Myy has been responsible for the Finnish campaign in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 2015 campaign received the Vuoden lääkeinformaatioteko (Drug Information Action of the Year) prize, and the visibility of the campaign exceeded all expectations.
Initial situation and targets
The purpose of the international Euromelanoma campaign, led by dermatologists, is the prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma and other skin cancers. The campaign exists to raise public awareness of skin cancers and their detection as well as the risk factors. In Finland, 1,400 people fall ill with melanoma every year, while about 11,000 are diagnosed with other types of skin cancer.
When Finland participated in the campaign for the first time, the objectives were:
- To increase awareness among the public on skin cancers and their prevention
- To encourage people to have their skin examined for free.
The campaign partners in Finland were La Roche-Posay, LEO Pharma Oy, Roche Oy, Finnish Central Organisation for Skin Patients, Association of Finnish Pharmacies, Cancer Society of Finland and Yliopiston Apteekki.
Creative solution and implementation
The main message of the creative solution was clear: Early detection of skin cancer can save a life!
The campaign revolved around the Euromelanoma Day on 19 May, when awareness-raising events and free skin examinations were organised in five cities. Anyone could book an appointment to show suspicious skin changes to a dermatologist for free.
To spread the campaign message and encourage people to attend free skin examinations, we had a variety of PR actions: we produced two campaign videos, created advertising material for print and online channels as well as the channels of our partners, and created a campaign page on Facebook. Pharmacies also contributed actively to the campaign by distributing more than 20,000 campaign brochures and encouraging people to take part in skin examination events.
All promotional activities were concentrated on the campaign site at www.euromelanoma.org/suomi.
The popularity of the campaign site exceeded all expectations: Finland was second only to Sweden, which is a remarkable achievement, since more than 30 European countries and Canada participated in the Euromelanoma campaign. In proportion to the size of population, the Finnish site had the largest number of visitors.
Skin examination appointments were booked up in an instant, and thousands queued for cancellations. Nearly one thousand people had their skin examined on 19 May, and seven percent of them were found to have a lesion that was suspected to be skin cancer or its precursor.
The campaign and the prevention of skin cancer were widely discussed in different media. All major Finnish news outlets ran stories on the subject in May and June, which was the perfect timing for light-skinned Finnish people just before proper summer.