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CoppaFeel!’s partnership with The Sun

17 March 2014

On March 4, CoppaFeel! and The Sun launched Check ‘Em Tuesday; a campaign which aims to use the vehicle of Page 3 as a means to raise awareness of the importance of getting to know your breasts.

The charity

Breast cancer awareness charity, CoppaFeel!, has been operating for just under five years; taking the message of getting to know your breasts to a previously untargeted demographic: young people. CoppaFeel! was founded by Kristin Hallenga, who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the age of just 23. There is no stage five.

Since 2010, CoppaFeel! has embarked on a number of campaigns and initiatives to make sure our message is reaching this younger audience. Most notable of these is our network of over 50 determined student brand ambassador teams at universities across the country. As hubs of young people, universities are a strong focus for us however not every young person in the country seeks further education which limits our reach to all 18-35 year olds.

Check Em Tuesday

Last August, The Sun first approached us with the idea of partnering with Page 3 and launching Check ‘Em Tuesday. As a small awareness charity with little marketing budget, we rely heavily on corporate and media partnerships to help broadcast our message to as many people as possible. The Sun proposal was a great, if risky opportunity.

Targeted reach

Contrary to popular belief, The Sun is not read exclusively by ‘white van men’. The latest NRS figures show that in the average week, more than five million women read the paper; 1.7m of which are aged 18-35. That is more than any other female focused title including the likes of Cosmo, Heat or Grazia. As a means to drive quick awareness, mass reach against our audience and frequency of message, The Sun partnership provides a strong platform to deliver our comms objectives. Over the course of six months, the paper will be giving our charity the equivalent of £1.5million worth of media coverage to support our important message.

Page 3 and CoppaFeel!

At CoppaFeel!, our campaigns look to communicate to a younger audience that don’t react to scary stats. We instead take a softer approach; encouraging young women to check for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer in a fun way which has had proven success. We believe that the support of the The Sun and the Check ‘Em Tuesday campaign will help us build on the fun and bold comms of our brand.

The campaign has also given us the opportunity to reach men as well as women. Affecting 50,000 women a year, breast cancer also touches families and friends. It is crucial that they get to know the facts about the disease to help inform healthy conversation with their loved ones. In addition, it is important to remember that men can get breast cancer too: 400 men are diagnosed each year, so men should be checking too.

The launch

We did not go into the partnership lightly. We surveyed over 60 people involved in the charity; including major stakeholders, members of our Boobettes; many of whom have breast cancer themselves and also members of our university Boob Teams. The response was dramatically in favour of the partnership with only two respondents expressing real concern, but even they understood the reasons for us wishing to proceed.

The campaign was launched on Tuesday March 4 2014 and featured on the front page under the headline ‘Page 3 v Breast Cancer.’ The partnership dominated the paper with pages 1-3, the leader column and eight pages of The Sun’s ‘Me’ health pages dedicated entirely to CoppaFeel!.

In addition, the activity received widespread media coverage. Broadcast coverage included ITV1’s Lorraine; BBC Radio 5 Live; BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour; ITV1’s Loose Women and Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff. Print coverage included, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, The New Statesman and The Huffington Post.

Over the next six months, there will be coverage of the campaign and the charity across a number of sections of the paper. These include Page 3, a regular column in the Me section and editorial in Fabulous magazine which allow us to talk about the charity’s activities and core messages from a variety of angles.

A key aim of the launch was to make as much noise around the campaign as possible to ensure that as many women as possible take notice of the campaign’s message and check their breasts on a regular basis.

The results

One week on from the launch, we have seen a 2,000 per cent increase in hits to the CoppaFeel! website and the campaign has reached a cumulative Twitter reach of 41 million.

Thousands of women have signed up for the CoppaFeel! free monthly text service (Text remind to 70500) to remind them to check their breasts.

We have been contacted by several women who have booked appointments with their GPs as a result of something they have found, as well as young women who hadn’t thought to check themselves before, but would now.

In addition, we have had a wide spread reach on social media which is a crucial channel amongst our target audience. In numbers, we have gained 1,500 Facebook likes, losing just 12, and gained over 3,000 Twitter followers.

We’re pleased to say that social media monitoring showed that 80% of Twitter conversation in the launch week was in support of the campaign.

We acknowledge that our campaign has been controversial. But the fact is that this campaign is having an impact on raising awareness of breast cancer. Millions of people up and down the country have been discussing it, which is a good thing for all charities that campaign against the disease.

Jamie Clews

head of brand, CoppaFeel!

As head of brand, Jamie's role is to oversee the strategic direction of CoppaFeel!'s marketing communications; managing agency relations and corporate partnerships. Prior to joining CoppaFeel! in 2014, Jamie has had 5 years experience at two of the UK's media agencies as a strategic planner.