Canadian Cancer Society takes tan-free pledges

The non-profit organization targets men and women aged 15 to 29 with a new experiential and digital campaign.

The sandy shores of Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver were occupied by a set of seemingly sunburnt actors, Burnie and Scarlett Burnadette, hired by the Canadian Cancer Society last weekend to educate and eradicate the idea that tanning is cool, says Kathryn Seely, director of public issues, Canadian Cancer Society.

With the help of the orange-skinned characters as well as ambassadors from the charitable organization, beach-goers were told about the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.

Additional support for the campaign, which was created with creative by Vancouver-based Giant Ant Media included posters set up at Kitsilano Beach as well as ambassadors handing out water bottles and bracelets. A Facebook page was also created for Canadians to take the pledge and vow for a burn-less summer. At press time, the page had racked 1,368 pledges.

The campaign is a build on the organization’s tan-free grad initiative, where it targeted graduating high school students encouraging them to take a stand against indoor tanning beds, says Seely.

Regional staff from the organization worked with up to 20 schools and the response was inspiring, with 80% of the students pledging to be tan-free for the summer, she says.

“We hope that youth begin to embrace their natural skin tone,” she says. “We are hoping that through the youth we will be able to change the cultural norm from tanning looks good to tanning is out.”