JWT Folk and The Marie Keating Foundation urge Irish people to #GIVEASH*T.

All around west Dublin and Galway over the last two months there have been ads with media personalities brandishing toilet roll urging people to “Give a Sh*t” over the past week. This is the culmination of a two-month-long campaign by the Marie Keating Foundation to raise awareness about Bowel Cancer. The campaign, created by Dublin creative agency JWT Folk, urges the people aged 60 – 69 to “GIVE A SH*T. It could save your life.”

Creative Partner, Karl Waters explains; “Uptake of the bowel  cancer screening test is 40.2%. We knew that the issue was more than a lack of awareness – targeted campaigns  have been done before on free the bowel-screening.”

“We’ve come a long way when it comes to discussing  diseases and taking care of our health, but bowel cancer is one disease that people are still not comfortable talking about. And this is mainly  because the screening  process is a bit embarrassing to discuss!  So rather than repeating statistics that people already know – that bowel cancer is in the top 3 most common cancers in Ireland, and that early detection  gives you  90% change of living  more than 5 years after diagnosis – we approached  it by referring directly  to the thing  people are most embarrassed  about discussing  – the fact that the screening involves  literally ‘giving a sh*t’!”

Waters continued; “One thing Irish people have in spades is a sense of humour so what better way to dispel embarrassment and destigmatise bowel cancer screening, than to poke a bit of fun at the process?”

Outdoor posters, featuring the line “I GAVE A SH*T. AND IT SAVED MY LIFE.” popped up in targeted areas around  screening  centres. The ads feature both males and females in the target age bracket.

The campaign  also targeted  a wider Irish audience through social media. “We all have a parent or relative  in this age group, and we all want to ensure they stay around  for

as long as possible,  so we saw targeting a wider  audience as a crucial step in ensuring the message gets out there. We know that a lot of people go to the doctor  or for a screening  at the urging of relatives,  so it’s important to target familes  too.” explains Waters.

To round  off the campaign,  and ensure extended  awareness throughout April  – Bowel Cancer Awareness  Month  – JWT Folk and the Marie Keating Foundation sent a special gift to carefully  selected media personalities and influencers – a toilet roll with an important message – “GIVE A SH*T. It could save your life.”

The toilet rolls were sent to a select target group  based on their following or position in Irish culture.  For example,  health experts like Dr Ciara Kelly and media personalities like Maia Dunphy.

The Marie Keating Foundation CEO, Liz Yeates says; “As early detection  is such a key focus  for  the  Marie  Keating  Foundation,  we  are  delighted to  be  highlighting the importance of Bowel Screening in this campaign  in order to detect more cases of bowel cancer at the earliest stages and in order to save lives. Our message is simple: Take part in BowelScreen  once you receive your invitation – you may have no symptoms but the test can detect this invisible disease and it could save your life,”




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