Cancer Commercials

In my humble opinion this is an ad for people whose lives have been hit with the cancer stick.  I like the personification of cancer in this ad because the experience of cancer can indeed feel like living under violent dictatorship, or being stalked by a serial killer.  The anger and hatred expressed towards cancer in this ad is palpable – and a refreshing change from the heart-wrenching, super-depressing imagery of helplessness and victimhood that you so often see in materials related to cancer.  Not that it won’t make you cry like a schoolgirl; just makes you do so with clenched fists.

And then – waaaayyyy on the other end of the spectrum – there’s this PSA, which, if I may say, is an ad for people who have no frikking idea.  Like seriously, not even the faint and fluttering beginnings of a clue.  The target viewer for this one seems to be a Maxim-magazine reader with no breast cancer risk factors and a permanent woody.  Who doesn’t do his own laundry.  Might still live with his parents.  But, I guess if he’s into supporting breast cancer, he’s ok by me. 

And one more – just in case you are under the mistaken impression that I’ve got something against things that are immature, kind of gross and involve bikini-clad models — check out this effective messaging about skin cancer

Takes all kinds to beat cancer.



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

2 responses to “Cancer Commercials

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for blogging! It’s always interesting reading your posts.

    I have to say that the CCS PSA upsets me… it is really violent and leaves me feeling upset. I lost my mother to breast cancer a few years ago, and of course anger was one of the many emotions I felt, but the rage expressed in that ad is the rage that often leads to physical violence.

    I was also upset by the “Save the Boobs” ad. I think it was quite insensitive to women who have lost their breasts to cancer. I can’t stand it when women’s bodies are objectified in advertising… just because it’s done in beer ads it doesn’t make it ok! Unfortunately t.v., movies and fashion often sell sex and the uproar is not very loud. That being said, what a lot of people don’t know is that “Save the Boobs” was never a PSA about breast cancer. It was an ad to promote a huge party (beach/cruise theme) and the funds raised go to a breast cancer charity. The L.A. Times reported that it was a PSA about breast cancer, when it was actually an ad to create hype and sell tickets to a party.

    But yes, I agree… it takes all kinds.

  2. geminigirl

    Hey Leanne,

    I’m home sick which means I’m getting the opportunity to catch up on your posts. The proverbial silver lining.

    I have to say I appreciated the depth of emotion which came through in the CCS PSA. I found it touched the part of me that grieves for the impact cancer has had on my life and on the lives of those who love me.

    I hate cancer! I don’t spend much time, however, being actively angry about having had cancer and how it has changed my life. In my mind this would give cancer more power than I want it to have.

    Alternatively, cancer has had significant power and influence on my life so I do appreciate the realistic anger in the PSA. There is nothing gentle, loving or redeeming about cancer, its treatments and its affects.

    Let’s be angry enough to demand the supports cancer patients and their families need. Let’s be angry enough to find cures, rather than treatments.

    Thank you for posting the link. I might not have seen it otherwise.

    Take care of yourself,


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