In February 2008 the Cancer Council Western Australia, with support from the Department of Health and Healthway, launched a skin cancer prevention campaign based on the testimonial of Rowan Barrett, a 34 year old WA man who had been diagnosed with advanced melanoma skin cancer.
Rowan's personal story was transformed into a powerful social marketing campaign with the aim of raising awareness, particularly amongst men aged 18 - 45 years, about the personal risk of developing skin cancer from sun exposure related to typical outdoor activities.
Television and radio commercials featuring Rowan were first broadcast across WA in February 2008. Sadly, Rowan died in April 2008 two months after his 35th birthday. With the support of his family, the campaign was broadcast the following summer from January to March 2009.
Rowan's personal story continues to deliver a powerful message that no-one is invincible and that skin cancer can happen to anyone, even young people. Evaluation of the campaign found that 86% of the primary target group (adult males) were aware of Rowan's story and that among this group, the campaign increased the importance of using sun protection, particularly sunscreen and spending more time in the shade.
Furthermore, 1 in 2 males who saw the campaign reported being more likely to check their skin for early signs of skin cancer.
Watch the 2009 TV commercials
2009 30 sec TV commercial - "Unbelievable"
2009 15 sec TV commercial - "Incurable"
Listen to the radio commercials
Listen to the 30sec radio commercial 'Bulletproof': Bulletproof 30 second radio commercial (1.1MB)
Listen to the 30sec radio commercial 'It can be you': It can be you 30 second radio commercial (1.1MB)
Listen to the 30sec radio commercial 'Effects': Effects 30 second radio commercial (1.2MB)