Been to a tanning salon recently? If so, you’ll know that most modern sunbeds are equipped with a voice guide – a gentle, female voice guiding you though your session. The Belgian Foundation Against Cancer and Happiness, an FCB alliance, decided to seek out the Dutch voice-over actress who provides the guidance inside thousands of sunbeds in Belgium, and discovered that her name is Jolanda van Cooten, a voice actress from the Netherlands. They got in touch with Jolanda and convinced her to use her voice for a greater good – a radio campaign against sunbed use. In the ad, Jolanda urges people to stop using sunbeds and warns listeners about the increased skin cancer risk. And so, the voice inside thousands of sunbeds across Belgium and the Netherlands has now become the voice of a radio campaign against the use of sunbeds.
Every day more than 100 Belgians are diagnosed with skin cancer, and one of the main causes is the use of sunbeds. Compared to other European countries, sunbed use in Belgium is high. Belgium’s weather is intemperate, and winters can be cold and dark, driving lots of people to tanning salons for a quick bronze. Research from the Superior Health Council of Belgium shows that more than 1 million Belgian people between 15 and 65 years of age use a sunbed yearly. 62% of sunbed users have at least 10 tanning sessions per year, and 23% of sunbed users have more than 20 sessions per year.
The timing of the campaign couldn’t be better: sunbed use is the highest just before summer. One of the main motivations for using sunbeds is ‘preparing the skin before a holiday’. Many people mistakenly believe that a few artificial UV sessions prior to sunny holidays may protect them against sunburns.
The target audience of this radio campaign is tanning salon visitors, who will not only feel personally addressed by this ad, but won’t be able to visit a salon again without being reminded of the radio ad. As soon as they switch on their sunbed they’ll hear Jolanda’s voice, every single time. In an almost Pavlovian way, this campaign continues to work beyond its airtime.