CIBC reminds Canadians why they Run for the Cure

The bank takes a deeper look at the motivations of participants as the charity run returns to an in-person event.

After two years existing solely as a virtual event, the CIBC Run for the Cure is back to its in-person format. And while its new campaign is encouraging Canadians to get out and run, it is retaining elements from its pandemic-era marketing: namely, reminding participants why they run.

Called “This is Why We Run,” the new campaign centres on the key statistic that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer within their lifetime. In a 45-second spot, women are showcased enjoying their day-to-day lives, before the audience is called to action with a simple statement: “We run today, to save lives tomorrow.”

“It’s because of the funds raised through the CIBC Run for the Cure that we know more than ever before about how to prevent, diagnose, treat and live with and beyond breast cancer,” says Pamela Mollica, interim EVP of communications and marketing at the Canadian Cancer Society. “That’s why a compelling campaign is critical to inspire Canadians to join us in changing the future of breast cancer.”

While many charity marketing efforts focus on need and outcome, CIBC and the Canadian Cancer Society have taken a different tack in their communications in recent years. Last year – the event’s second year in a virtual format, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic – the strategy was to focus on why runners would never stop participating in the event, even though they couldn’t gather en masse and may be fatigued by virtual events.

This year is a variation on that theme, focusing on the motivation for Canadians to keep at it as the run transitions back to its classic format.

“This was an opportunity to capture the intimate human moments that go beyond the surface level tropes and remind audiences of all the women who have shaped us – mothers who always knew what bedtime story to read, teachers who were kind when we needed it most, daughters who have grown up but will always be children in our minds,” says Paul Little, group CD with Juniper Park\TBWA, which developed the campaign. “This is our motivation, and it reminds us that if we don’t run, these are the people we stand to lose.”

The campaign launched nationally at the start of September and is running across TV, OOH, social and digital until the day of the run, Oct. 2. Media was handled by MediaCom.