Breast Cancer Society of Canada contracted newly formed advertising agency Zig Inc. to come up with a way to convince young women to perform their own regular breast examination. Zig decided to avoid scare tactics, choosing instead to use humour to reinforce self-testing as a ‘normal’ task that everyone does. Tao and Lynn, two of the founding partners of Zig Inc, believed that women value offers of help when they feel overwhelmed and unable to help themselves. When they’re offered help for something they should be doing they protest and happily play their own part.
Cam, played by 20-year-old Noah Plener, opens the 30 second PSA speaking to the camera: “Are you too busy to do your monthly breast self exam? Unsure of the right technique? My name is Cam. I’d like to help. Let me examine your breasts for you, absolutely free! I’m highly trained and highly motivated so call the number on the number on the screen. Call takers are standing by.”
The camera switches to three teenage boys sitting on a couch, phone ready. So put your breasts in my hands. Let Cam do your breast exam.” The super: “They’re your breasts. You do it. Examine yourself monthly.” The 1-866 toll-free number featured in the advertisement was answered by a message from Cam who offered free shower cards with self-testing instructions to callers.
Cam’s Breast Exam has been uploaded countless times at YouTube.
Cam’s Breast Exam spot was developed at Zig Inc, Toronto, by creative director/art director Elspeth Lynn, creative director/copywriter Lorraine Tao and agency producer Janet Woods.
Cam’s Breast Exam won at distinction at the International Andy Awards, 2001, was shortlisted at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2001, and was named the funniest spot of 2000 by Adcritic.com.