November 13, 2020

In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during March, LERMA launched the #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign. The awareness campaign, which began on March 1, used magical acts, radio public service announcements (PSAs), billboards and social media to spread the word about the importance of people getting colonoscopies to save lives.

LERMA created the campaign for the Colon Cancer Coalition in an effort to encourage preventive colon health. The campaign was centered around the word, “colonoscopy,” to increase awareness that the magical word can save lives.

“Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in America,” said Flor Leibaschoff, director, brand creative at LERMA, who lost her brother to colon cancer late last year. “The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign is a powerful way to highlight the importance of colonoscopies. As an ad agency, LERMA knows the power of raising awareness through joint efforts like the #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign, and we hope it will help to save lives.”

The campaign’s radio PSAs included individuals who were in challenging situations, and used the safe word, “colonoscopy” to get out of the bind. In one PSA, a secret agent is discovered during a stakeout and says “colonoscopy” to get rescued. Other radio spots included testimonials from the one who knows most about Colon Cancer; Mr. Poop.

In partnership with the group Match, which owns OurTime, a dating app for mature men and women, the campaign featured social media posts that seek to make #Colonoscopy a trending topic. Examples of the content included, “What’s your sign? Oh, I’m colonoscopy too.” or “What are you doing on Friday? Let’s colonoscopy.”

The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign was also showcased on a video billboard in Times Square (1500 Broadway), New York City. The 10-second message was shared a minimum of three times each hour 22 hours a day throughout Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and into April.

Following the magic theme, the Academy of Magical Arts collaborated on the noble cause by allowing two magicians, Norberto Jansenson and Hillel, to perform at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. The magicians attempted daring performances and replaced their usual “magical” word with “colonoscopy”

as part of their acts. One example included Hillel—Mr. Balloon Man, who, for the first time in his 30-year career, wrote “colonoscopy,” instead of “help,” to be rescued from inside of a balloon with little air.

“Nine in 10 people survive colon cancer when the disease is detected early with a colonoscopy,” said Erin Peterson, communications director at the Colon Cancer Coalition. "Unfortunately one in three Americans of screening age has not been screened for colorectal cancer. The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign is an exciting campaign for us. It’s cutting edge, eye catching, and humorous, which helps relax people about this subject matter, making it easier for individuals uneasy about screening take the necessary steps to potentially save their life."

Colorectal cancer screening should begin for most average risk adults at age 45 and earlier for those with family history or other risk factors. In addition to a colonoscopy, many screening options are available including several tests that can be done in the privacy of your own home. Colonoscopy is the only screening test that can also prevent colorectal cancer by removing pre-cancerous lesions, or polyps, at the time of the test, preventing cancer. Colorectal cancer is extremely treatable when diagnosed in the earliest stages. Individuals of all ages experiencing symptoms should talk with their doctors about screening options right for them.



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