Depend partners up for prostate cancer awareness

Prostate cancer affects one in every six men, with 192,000 males expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year in the US alone.

Organization: Kimberly-Clark and Zero, the Project to End Prostate Cancer

Campaign: The Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer

PR team: In-house and Taylor

Launch: June 15

Budget: Undisclosed

Objective:

Prostate cancer affects one in every six men, with 192,000 males expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year in the US alone. Kimberly-Clark, which makes Depend products that help cope with incontinence – a symptom often related to prostate cancer – is conducting an effort to reach middle-aged and older men with a health-related cause campaign. It aims to raise awareness about the disease while also making men more comfortable talking about a difficult subject.

“Naturally, this is something we needed to think about as a brand and company, not just because of the tie-in with the brand, but because of the impact that it is having on men in this category,” said Blake Boulden, marketing brand manager at Kimberly-Clark.

Idea:

In conjunction with Taylor and nonprofit Zero, the Project to End Prostate Cancer, Kimberly-Clark called on top former athletes who could make men feel more at ease. The organizations sought athletes who have ties to the disease, such as cancer survivor and former baseball star Ken Griffey, Sr., and golfer Jim Colbert.

“What is most important is that men who are going through the illness, unfortunately, can relate to men going through it or who have gone through it,” said Ryan Mucatel, managing partner at Taylor.

Tools:

The groups will leverage major events, including Father's Day, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and the US Open golf tournament, to bolster outreach to consumer and men's magazines throughout the summer. The celebrity spokesmen will take part in interviews, recalling their own experiences as cancer survivors.

Kimberly-Clark also launched a microsite with information about the disease and places men can get tested. “It's about making this a comfortable conversation,” added Boulden.

Measurement:

Kimberly-Clark will measure Web site traffic and the overall value of its earned media placements using a media prominence index. The company is also measuring market share and sales growth during the campaign. Zero has a goal of testing its 100,000th man for prostate cancer this year via this and other campaigns, according to Katie Gorscak, director of communications at Zero.

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