Ahead of new Government legislation to ban anyone from under the age of 18 using a sunbed, a major PR campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of sunbeds among young people was last week launched by Cancer Research UK.
The campaign shows fictional rapper ‘Leatha Face’ who believes that going on sunbeds will make him stand out from the crowd of rappers he’s competing against. The campaign is being promoted on YouTube and Facebook.
In my eyes this campaign is a bit more cringe than cool. The video itself makes me feel uncomfortable when I watch it for the first time. As soon as I see ‘Leatha Face’ I think he looks more like he’s had a dodgy spray tan than a lifetime of going on sunbeds. Showing my 16 year old sister the video she cringes and says ‘yeah, like that’s going to stop anyone from going on sunbeds’. Considering she’s in the age bracket that the campaign is aimed at, I think her comment sums up what this campaign is going to achieve, in my opinion, not a lot.
When searching on YouTube, the video is the thirteenth result to show and has only had 1,124 views. On Facebook, the Leatha Face page has had 117 ‘likes’. Considering the vast majority of the target audience use these social platforms I think these results show that the campaign isn’t achieving as much as it possibly could. Digital agency Nonsense, who are the creators of the campaign, have a hard job on their hands. It’s not an easy topic to tackle but I’m not quite convinced that ‘Leatha Face’ will be the one who will change the opinion of the young people who use sunbeds on a regular basis.
I think using platforms that the target audience use such as Facebook and creating a fictional character are real strengths of the campaign, but I just don’t see how the video created is sending out the message that sunbeds shouldn’t be used or how it will change the opinion of the target audience.