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PANTENE’S MISSION: TO GRANT EVERY WOMAN FIGHTING WITH CANCER A FREE REAL-HAIR WIG.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a global charity that donates hair to women suffering from hair-loss due to cancer treatment.
In Israel we were experiencing donation fatigue and needed to reinvigorate the initiative and increase donations by 5%.
HALF OF US WILL GET CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME
It’s a disease that puts sufferers through an emotional and physical trauma.
One of the most common side effects of treatment is hair loss, which can go on for months after radiotherapy or chemotherapy ends.
Hair loss not only damages self-esteem but reduces identity to one of “brave cancer sufferer”. It’s a huge issue, particularly for women.
In 2012, Pantene launched Beautiful Lengths – a charity that allows people to donate hair to be converted into wigs for cancer sufferers. These wigs are distributed via hair banks.
In Israel, this is done through “Zichron-Menachem” (ZM) – a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for young people living with cancer, as well as their parents and siblings.
To date, almost 60,000 wigs have been created in Israel – but it’s not enough to meet demand. More than 10,000 cancer sufferers didn’t receive a wig due to a lack of donations, which have fallen 13% year on year.
We needed to reinvigorate Beautiful Lengths and help fill the gap between the current supply and demand for wigs.
Donating hair is a big commitment, as hair needs to be a minimum of eight inches long and have no styling or chemical treatments.
We spoke to previous donators and discovered that more people would participate if they knew who received their hair and how it helped them.
So we set out to get 5% more women donating hair in 2017. We’d do it by making our message more personal.
“WITHOUT A WIG, I FEEL LIKE A WALKING BILLBOARD FOR CANCER”
We spoke to cancer patients about the impact caused by hair loss and one sufferer said – “Without a wig, I feel like a walking billboard for cancer. People only see my illness and I can’t just be myself”.
Frankly, women undergoing transfer cancer treatment suffer enough without the indignity of being a walking advertisement for their illness.
This comment stopped us in our tracks – and we realised it would stop others in their tracks too, if we could only find a way to bring it to life.
Our strategic answer? If sufferers feel like billboards, let’s make people relate to them by making their suffering personal – with billboards.
We put one patient at the heart of the message – Noa Azoulay. A former volunteer for ZM, Noa contracted bone cancer aged 17 and lost her hair after radiotherapy.
Noa would speak to the nation, by staring down at them from the most visible billboards in Israel – including the largest billboard in Tel-Aviv at Azriely Towers. Noa’s message was simple: “Without a wig, I am just a billboard for cancer. Help me out!”.
Our content would also extend to other channels from TV, to retail to digital channels.
We would give consumers two clear ways to respond:
First, they could help Noa out by making a hair donation. If enough people donated she would come down from billboards around the country.
Second, we would create a mechanism for consumers to donate money to our campaign partner, “Zichron-Menachem” (ZM). Pantene bottles would be marked with the Beautiful Lengths logo and a unique barcode to allow us to track the amount sold, with money raised used to enhance ZM’s efforts to distribute Beautiful Lengths wigs via a national network of wig banks.
NOA’S CONTENT BECAME PART OF OUR AUDIENCE’S LIVES
She reminded them of the desperate need for hair donations wherever they went. As well as the highly visible billboard activity, our campaign included:
• Our network of nationwide hair salons amplified our rally-cry in store, helping Noa reach the 100,000+ women getting their hair cut or treated on a daily basis.
• We signed an exclusive partnership with Channel 12 – Israel’s most popular TV channel. The network was so overwhelmed by our campaign that they produced and promoted 51 TV spots featuring Noa for free, worth 170,000 Shekels (US $49,000)
Additionally, we created a unique partnership with Waze – the most popular navigation app in Israel with over 2.7 million users – reminded our audience of the campaign. Every time they passed our billboards or one of the charity’s 500 participating hair salons, Noa took over their screens to tell her story and ask for help getting her off the billboard.
Online videos, social media posts and some of the most influential opinion leaders in the country, amplified our message to make sure everyone could play their part in the cause. One of them (Facebook influencer Nas Daily) reached almost 2,000,000 people worldwide.
By the end of the campaign, we invited the press to an event to celebrate the removal of Noa from billboards. She was free of cancer and would begin rehabilitation, armed with a wig generated by the public.
Israel came together to make a huge difference for cancer patients.
Lead Media Agency