Bowel Cancer UK campaign targets adults most reluctant to see GP

Bowel Cancer UK campaign targets adults most reluctant to see GP

BOWEL Cancer UK has launched an innovative new behaviour change campaign aimed at people most likely to delay contacting their GP when experiencing symptoms of possible bowel cancer.

The campaign called Tell Your GP Instead, was developed with behaviour change experts at Claremont Communications to identify the barriers people face and give them everyday language to use when speaking to their doctor.

The charity also worked with the target audience, which includes adults over 50 who may have deeply held attitudes towards their health and the NHS, to understand their reluctance to contact their GP.

The group, along with people who have had bowel cancer, helped shape the campaign words, images and messaging to make sure they would resonate with the group the campaign is trying to reach.

Bowel cancer is very treatable and survivable if caught early, so the charity wanted the campaign to focus on the message that people should contact their GP if they spotted symptoms, such as blood in their poo, bleeding from their bottom, a change in their pooing habits, or a lump or pain in your tummy. As well as speaking to their GP, the charity encourages people to ask for an at-home test.

The campaign includes a series of ads developed by creative agency Nice and Serious showing unusual scenarios where someone is sharing their bowel cancer symptoms – for example in a supermarket, with their plumber, or to their cat. This leads to the key campaign message to Tell Your GP Instead.

Media strategists Yonder Media helped identify the best places to reach the target audience with this message, using press, radio, out-of-home sites and digital advertising. Diversity specialists at The Unmistakeables reviewed the creative and ensured that the scenarios and characters in the adverts were portrayed in a representative way.

The charity is delivering the campaign differently to more traditional cancer campaigns. Instead of a short 4-6 week burst of activity, Tell Your GP Instead is running on a two week on-two week off pattern until early next year. This will allow for better targeting of those least likely to contact their GP, and more effectively address the barriers they face. It will also mitigate fears of driving high demand for primary care in a short period of time.

Bowel Cancer UK Chief Executive Genevieve Edward said:

“We’re really proud of this campaign and the amount of work we’ve put into making sure it’s the right one for our target audience.

“The result is a campaign which differs from the more traditional model of cancer campaigns – it’s longer and more sustained which allows for more effective targeting of our key audiences, allowing us to chip away at deeply entrenched barriers and attitudes, while not putting too much strain on NHS primary care.”

The Tell Your GP Instead campaign supports Bowel Cancer UK’s On a Mission organisational strategy which places early diagnosis at its heart.

To find out more about Bowel Cancer UK and the Tell Your GP Instead campaign, please visit the campaign page of the charity’s website.