It’s very hard to get women to regularly check their breasts to help prevent breast cancer. However, they do check their phones an average of 110 times a day. Therefore, we decided to spread our message in a format that would grant us visibility on these devices using social platforms to achieve it. That’s precisely where we came across a huge barrier: breasts aren’t welcome on social media; Facebook and Instagram censor them. Their nudity policies, in an attempt to promote respectful behavior among users, have strict rules when it comes to nudity.Despite these rules being constantly updated, they clearly state: “we (Facebook) also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple.” Ironically enough, they do seem to have a point on view when it comes to cancer “we (Facebook) always allow photos of women showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.” Sadly, too late. This policy also reinforces a taboo around breasts. Knowing that in 90% of the cases in which tumors smaller than a centimeter in diameter are detected there are chances of cure, promoting shame or embarrassment in women regarding their nipples does not help at all.We definitely needed to show some boobs!
The campaign is based on a series of tutorial videos that each begin with a woman about to perform a breast self-exam “borrowing” a man’s breasts to avoid censorship and demonstrate this early detection technique clearly step by step.The content was initially published on Macma’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram channels. Local celebrities supported the campaign to extend the scope of the message organically.In a second stage, once the message had freely reached people, we developed a PR plan to start a global debate highlighting the need to clearly communicate how women should carry out a BSE uncensored, to support early breast cancer detection.
With a social media investment below $1000 dollars, the campaign organically became a success reaching 48 million views only in the first week. Mainstream media covered it expanding the tutorials’ reach to a much wider audience, far beyond the borders of Argentina, obtaining coverage in every continent with 193 millions media impressions. It generated earned media worth $ 17 million and MACMA’s fan base grew 20.000 followers only in the launch day. It was shared over 700.000 times, becoming the most shared and viewed breast self examination exam ever. But it’s more than just numbers: as a result of the campaign, new patients, oncologists, psychologists, volunteers, benefactors, and brands joined MACMA to support their efforts, an NGO’s greatest achievement.The local government invited MACMA to be part of the national breast cancer help network.
Even though most cases occur after 40 years of age, younger women are affected every year and self-examination is recommended since sexual development.Looking for the best way to appear on the platforms they are interested in, we focused on the boundaries that define the rule.Women’s nipples are banned but men’s weren’t included in that regulation.All over the internet, there are websites that use drawings and videos to show women how to perform a BSE. We were aiming at a campaign that nudged people to obtain a larger impact without overlooking the informational aspect. That gave birth to #ManBoobs4Boobs a prevention campaign requiring men’s involvement to accomplish its goal.We found a way to elude the rules on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. #ManBoobs4Boobs teaches how to perform a BSE on men’s boobs which aren’t censored while fostering a necessary debate on modifying social policies.
MACMA - Movimiento Ayuda Cancer de Mama (literally, Movement for Breast Cancer Help) is a non-profit organization founded by women who have suffered breast cancer. Their goal is to progressively help more and more women fight this disease by promoting prevention through early diagnosis in order to increase their chances of having a second chance at life. MACMA’s most important asset is the certainty that early cancer detection and appropriate treatment save lives.Breast cancer is the most popular form of cancer among women, affecting about 18,000 women per year in Argentina. That means one out of every eight women is likely to contract it, making it the number one cause of death in adult women. According to the WHO, this illness is responsible for the death of 450,000 women worldwide every year.Breast self-examination (BSE) is the most effective method for early detection. Because so many women disregard it, our goal was to create awareness on the importance of practicing BSE while exposing the evident restrictions online social networks impose on these kinds of messages.