Breast Cancer Canada shows that knowledge is beautiful

A rebranding campaign loudly claims the non-profit's role as Canada's only organization solely dedicated to breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer Canada (BCC) has a new, simpler and more modern name that better reflects its goals and values – and it is announcing its new identity in a campaign that centres it as a champion for the research that could end the disease.

The former Breast Cancer Society of Canada adopted the new identity after taking a hard look at its old name, according to Kimberly Carson, the organization’s CEO. “There was a clear vision from the beginning. [The new name] is on trend with some of the other charities out there, where you have a clear name and it leaves no question of what you do or who you are,” explains Carson.

“The old name didn’t really resonate with people that much anymore, and it wasn’t friendly when it came to translation. It doesn’t translate very well into some of the languages we wanted to share our news in,” she adds. “And we’re not a society. We’re inclusive, not exclusive.”

The new branding, which was developed by agency 123w, has rolled out across all of BCC’s touchpoints: digital, social, its website and all communications.

It is being supported by a launch campaign called “Know More Breast Cancer,” which plays on a double entendre by using the homophone of “No.” The purpose of the campaign is to put greater emphasis on BCC’s role in that fight, being the only non-profit in Canada that raises money solely for breast cancer research, Carson says.

“That’s what we do, so we wanted to say it,” she explains. “If we want to be the leaders in breast cancer research and get the information out there about advancements in treatment and things people can look forward to, including how it will change treatment and diagnosis, we need to get to people where they want to be and help them understand that we have knowledge they can count on.”

One of the challenges for the BCC was breaking through to the many Canadians who have little knowledge about the disease.

“In 2021, the WHO determined breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the world, but what we know from research is that most Canadians aren’t prepared for a breast cancer diagnosis. They have no idea what it means or what’s going to happen. Most Canadians don’t even know there’s more than 50 different types of breast cancer,” Carson says. “With more knowledge, we can end breast cancer, and that’s where we got the double entendre from.”

The campaign centres on a 60-second video that alternates between clips of researchers and the research process, and that of the patient’s lived experience, featuring real researchers and breast cancer patients. Contrasting researchers with patients showcases the individuals and families impacted by the researchers’ work.

“Our task wasn’t just to rebrand Breast Cancer Canada, but essentially rebrand what ‘research and researchers’ typically look like,” adds Addie Gillespie, CD for 123w. “Because what they’re doing is truly groundbreaking, we wanted to highlight their role in advancing the treatment and detection of breast cancer.”

“We didn’t want to talk about hope or fighting or any of those things, we wanted to talk about progress, and how that progress is beautiful,” says Carson. “And we did it.”

The campaign will run across print, TV, OOH, digital and social, supported by PR stunts and a new website.