This past year has been difficult for many people and for lots of different reasons. And whilst the pandemic has been at the forefront of our lives for very good reason; there are many other illnesses and diseases that have not gone away.
Just this month, a beautiful yet very emotive advertising campaign was launched by the Irish Cancer Society, entitled “Still here - every step of the way”.
The one-minute video is made up of a beautiful montage of real-life cancer patients, families and survivors going about their daily lives as they live through cancer. People like the heroic cervical cancer activist Vicky Phelan and Saoirse Ruane, the brave young girl who featured on the Late, Late Toy Show at Christmas feature in the film.
According to Conor King (Acting CEO) of the Irish Cancer Society, for the past we months they were “Encouraging anyone with symptoms to contact their doctor but figures show that one in four didn’t attend a GP or hospital appointment from March to June, a direct result of the pandemic”. So, they wanted to create an awareness campaign to remind people that cancer has not gone away and nor have they.
Created by the marketing agency Folk Wundermann Thompson, their MD (and Head of Strategy) Enda Kelly said they had a very clear brief. He said that “Whilst we’ve all been focusing our efforts on defeating Covid19, there’s a forgotten C that hasn’t gone away”. Enda went on to say that “25 people every single day die from cancer in this country. Every week over 800 people hear the words, ‘you’ve got cancer’”.
The Irish Cancer Society and design agency wanted the campaign to highlight the real-life story of a patient on their journey. It was important to show “It’s not just about the stats and figures, these are the real people and real families who have been battling on over the last 12 months and will continue to do so with the support of the Irish Cancer Society.”
When I reflect on the past twelve months and think about life lessons, I feel it has been all about getting back to basics. For me, it’s about relearning to appreciate the little things in life. And whilst we have all been isolating a bit more than usual, I feel we need to be mindful of others.
We may look at other people and think that their life is straightforward or pretty good. Yet this clip reminded me that we need to understand that people are going through their own journey and it may not always be obvious. It also struck me that perhaps we need to be a little kinder and support each other.
I really felt they achieved this in the clips as they are necessarily raw and very poignant. I have huge respect for the way these wonderful people have given us an insight into their world, their journey and their challenges. Yet they all still smile.
This campaign has a wonderful sense of hope and love radiating through every story as they say to people – we’re here for you and you are not being forgotten. Let’s reach out and show a little more empathy to each other. And on that note, maybe we can all look for ways to help at the "Irish Cancer Society website"