Early 2017, Direct Digital reached out to Bladder Cancer Canada to offer the charity a promotional space free of charge across our 200 Medical Direct LCD screens situated in medical centers and hospitals stretching throughout Canada. We understand the power of advertising and we considered it our duty to spread awareness of a disease that devastates lives. Much to our delight, Bladder Cancer Canada took up our offer and since May of last year, the “See Red” campaign has been aired more than 1,072,638 times. This campaign specifically warns of the dangers of blood in your urine as it is the most common sign of the disease. Bladder Cancer Canada soon received a message from Lorie, who explained that that she had seen the See Red campaign circulating amongst the other advertisements at her local Doctors surgery and had realized that she was displaying some of the symptoms listed on screen. Lorie then arranged an appointment with her doctor for a screening immediately. Thanks to the prompt diagnosis, Lorie was able to receive treatment for the early stages of bladder cancer. Today, we interview Tammy Northam - Executive Director of Bladder Cancer Canada, about the partnership between Direct Digital & Bladder Cancer Canada and how it is potentially saving lives.
Tammy, please can you tell me a little more about your present campaign running on the Medical Direct LCD screens in medical centers, hospitals and clinics across Canada?
Creating awareness about bladder cancer and the early signs and symptoms is a key element of Bladder Cancer Canada's mission. The most common symptom is blood in the urine, occurring in more than 80% of cases. The “See Red? See Your Doctor” campaign graphically highlights the critical need to recognize this symptom. This can lead to earlier diagnosis which translates to better patient outcomes and saving lives. Created ‘pro-bono’ by the generous agency, Elixir Marketing, the red lemon (among a mass of yellow ones) has become a well-known campaign that many members of the general public recognize.
Medical Direct provides Bladder Cancer Canada with free promotion of their campaign on over 200 screens across Canada. Can you tell me what Bladder Cancer Canada have been able to use that money for instead of paid promotion?
As a result of the free promotion we receive from companies such as Medical Direct, Bladder Cancer Canada has been able to invest more funds into other critical pillars of our mission: patient education and support, and funding more Canadian-led research into bladder cancer. This is especially important, because research into bladder cancer is highly underfunded, ranking 20th among the top 24 cancers, even though bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Canada.
How effective do you think your present campaign has been in saving lives?
We know that this campaign has, in many instances, led to bladder cancer being diagnosed earlier. When found late, the results can be devastating and even life-threatening, but when found early, the disease can be well-managed and patients can live a longer and healthier life. We’re confident that the campaign is having a significant positive impact.
How do you feel the partnership between Medical Direct & Bladder Cancer Canada has benefited the charity?
This partnership has brought more awareness about bladder cancer and its early warning signs. Our hope is that the patients will ask their family doctors to rule out bladder cancer when they see blood in the urine. Secondary to helping patients get diagnosed earlier, we have been fortunate to have been able to generate more awareness and support for Bladder Cancer Canada as a charity that requires volunteers and donations to be able to carry on the important work that we do.
Medical Direct were delighted to hear the feedback from Lorie. Thanks to seeing the Bladder Cancer Canada TV advertisement on one of our screens in her medical center, she was able to make an appointment at her local hospital and get an early diagnosis of bladder cancer and is currently under treatment. Can you tell me if Bladder Cancer Canada has any new campaigns being launched in 2018?
Absolutely. May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. We will be launching a campaign across Canada throughout the entire month via social media and through our local community volunteer ambassadors. In addition, each September we organize the Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness Walk (www.bccwalk.ca) in over 20 cities across Canada. This event brings Canadians together to lend each other support, raise awareness and raise funds. Last year, over 2,000 people participated in the walk and over 6,000 people donated in support of the walk, raising over $600,000. This represents approximately 70% of Bladder Cancer Canada’s funds for the entire year. The walk is critical in allowing us to fulfil our mission and carry on the important work that we are doing.
We would like to thank Tammy and Bladder Cancer Canada for their ongoing partnership and we send our best wishes to Lorie and her family as she carries on her treatment. If you would like to see more information on the work that Bladder Cancer Canada does and how to help raise money and awareness for the charity, then please click here https://bladdercancercanada.org/en/