To raise awareness of lung cancer—the leading cancer killer of women and men—the American Lung Association and the Ad Council have launched a new phase of work this November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month for their successful “Saved By The Scan“ campaign. The campaign, created pro bono by advertising agency Hill Holliday, educates current and former smokers about the low-dose CT scan that can detect lung cancer in the early stages, when the disease is more curable.
Consider the facts about lung cancer:
- Lung cancer kills 422 people every day – approximately 18 deaths each hour, or 1 death every 3.4 minutes.
- Early detection can save lives. In fact, survival rates are more than four times higher when lung cancer is detected early, but most cases are not diagnosed until later stages.
- If the 8 million Americans considered at high-risk were screened, an estimated 48,000 lives would be saved.
- Screening is currently underutilized, with less than 5% of those eligible getting screened.
The television spot features a pair of lungs made of matches, which slowly burn and dissolve as a narrator proclaims, “You quit smoking and thought ‘That’s that.’ But here’s the thing about lung cancer: by the time you see the symptoms, it could be too late.” Revealing a room with a CT machine at its center, an uplifting voice is then heard saying, “But now, thanks to a new scan, lung cancer can be detected earlier when it is more curable. If you smoked, get scanned,” ultimately encouraging current and former smokers to talk to their doctor and visit SavedByTheScan.org.
“Lung cancer screening is a powerful tool, but its lifesaving potential will never be fully realized if it’s underutilized,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO, American Lung Association. “Spreading the word about screening is essential, and the American Lung Association is proud to continue partnering with the Ad Council and Hill Holliday to raise awareness of this lifesaving test.”
This iteration of the campaign raises awareness of the benefits of early detection through lung cancer screening and drives current and former smokers to take a lung cancer screening eligibility quiz at SavedByTheScan.org (SalvaTuPulmon.org in Spanish). The site also provides information about lung cancer screening and insurance coverage, and includes a section for people to share their personal stories about how they were “saved by the scan.”
In the two years since “Saved By The Scan” was launched, the campaign has been flooded with stories from people who saw the ads and as a result spoke with their doctors, got the scan and caught the disease early – saving their lives.
“I saw the first Saved By The Scan video while I was watching my favorite show one night. I saw a woman climbing a mountain of cigarette butts and learned that I was potentially at high risk for lung cancer,” said Milli Wilson, a 62-year-old singer and now a lung cancer screening advocate. “At my next doctor’s visit, I requested the low-dose CT scan. While I had no symptoms, I was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer and my doctor recommended a procedure to remove the mass. Today I’m a living example of how screening can save your life.”
“We continue to hear reports from consumers who saw ‘Saved By The Scan’ materials, got the scan and caught the disease early,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer of the Ad Council. “When it comes to the power of communications, there’s nothing greater than saving a life and we are eager to share this new round of work, hopefully inspiring more high-risk individuals to talk to their doctors and get the scan if they are eligible.”
To extend the campaign’s message further, the American Lung Association and Ad Council are releasing new TV, print, billboard, bus shelter and digital work.
“When smokers hear the words lung cancer, they are rightfully scared. But with this new scanning technology, there’s hope. With the help of our production partner, Psyop, we created a visually arresting film that will let people know lung cancer doesn’t have to be so terrifying. There’s hope,” said Lance Jensen, Hill Holliday Chief Creative Officer. “Hill Holliday is proud to work with the American Lung Association and the Ad Council for the second year in a row on this amazing project.”
The “Saved By The Scan” campaign has received more than $46 million in donated media support to date and has collaborated on lung cancer screening content with top-tier content platforms, including Facebook Creative Shop, The New York Post, USA Today and WebMD. The lung cancer screening eligibility quiz on SavedByTheScan.org also continues to effectively reach qualified respondents; there have been more than 291,000 quiz completions since the campaign launch, 90,000 people were found to be at high risk and were encouraged to speak with their doctor. Additionally, awareness of the lung cancer screening method has increased 75% since launch and continues to grow year over year.
The campaign targets the estimated 8 million people in the U.S. who are at high risk for lung cancer and should talk to their doctor about getting screened. A person is considered high risk for lung cancer if they: are between 55–80 years old (or between 55–77 years old and on Medicare), have a 30 pack year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.), and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
Individuals who may be at high risk are encouraged to visit SavedByTheScan.org (English) or SalvaTuPulmon.org (Spanish), where they can take the lung cancer screening eligibility quiz and find additional information on the campaign and lung cancer.