33 Creative were engaged by the Department of Health & Aged Care and Cancer Council Australia to deliver the national bowel cancer screening campaign for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If detected early, almost all bowel cancers are treatable, however only 1 in 3 eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are completing bowel cancer screening. Increasing screening rates will save lives.
Stay Healthy and Strong is a multi-year, integrated campaign that is aiming to create culturally safe dialogue to encourage more participants to screen and stay strong. The first year focused on raising national awareness, with 2023 activity focused on regional activation to target regional and remote communities who are in hot zones and have a shorter completion period due to hot weather.
Informed by developmental research, the campaign was designed as a multiyear approach to raise awareness and education to lead to positive behaviours and increased screening.
The first year of the campaign commenced in July 2022 with an on-air period of 7 weeks, supported by two additional bursts of media, PR and stakeholder engagement through trusted community networks. The campaign creative features Gubbi Gubbi Doctor, Joel Wenitong. Featuring a trusted health professional aimed to break down barriers, reduce shame and reinforce the importance of staying healthy and strong to spend time with family.
Building on this approach in 2023, the campaign focused on enhancing reach to hot zone areas, where the only period of screening is over winter months from April – July. Many of these northern communities are also in remote areas.
The 2023 campaign commenced in April with a targeted hot zone stakeholder focus, airing in 12 regional markets across SBS/NITV and 25 local regional and remote First Nations community publications from May. The paid media strategy utilised tailored hot zone creative featuring Waanya Gangalidda and Erub man Trevor Tim through channels into remote and regional communities, with placement of the Dr Joel creative in tandem for all other states.
A new instructional video was also developed to support health professionals in face-to-face engagement with community groups. This responded to community feedback that understanding how the kits work resulted in a stronger likeliness to complete the screening test, by breaking down fear of the unknown.
All content is also available via the National Bowel Cancer Screening channel on IndigiTube, hosted by First Nations Media Australia.
Artwork graphics and icons featured through the campaign are by Ngarrindjeri man Jordan Lovegrove.
Early results from the campaign show the strengths-based approach is driving positive change, and momentum within the community is growing.
- 1 in 4 people reported campaign recall
- 1 in 3 people reported discussing the campaign with others
So far in 2023, we have achieved:
- 92% increase in website visits from 2022-2023
- 95% increase in resource downloads from 2022-2023
- NITV program integration with Over the Black Dot reached 167,231 with more than 385,340 impressions
Future campaigns aim to build on this foundation work and further encourage conversations around bowel cancer screening, using a strengths based positive approach.
We’d like to thank our campaign talent and spokespeople, for sharing their personal experiences to break down stigma and encourage others in the community to stay healthy and strong.