Skin Cancer Surgery Campaign in Australia

The Australian Federal Government today launches a new $5 million advertising campaign warning teenagers and young adults about the dangers of skin cancer.

Tanya's melanoma operation

The “Protect Yourself in Five Ways from Skin Cancer” campaign includes graphic television and print advertising that enforces the message that young people are vulnerable to life threatening skin cancers. The television campaign features the real life story involving Tanya, a 22 year old from Sydney, and Professor John Thompson, the surgeon who removed a melanoma from her back. The 30 second TV ad shows the actual operation, carried at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. See my post on the melanoma surgery print campaign.

Professor John Thompson, Melanoma Surgeon

Thompson tells viewers, “Every year almost 400,000 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer. You could say it’s our national cancer.” We see him looking at a lymphatic map. With the aid of a lightbox he prepares for the operation. “Tanya’s 22, and thought treating melanoma meant simply removing a mole… but don’t be fooled – skin cancer can kill. We see Professor Thompson cutting the cancer out of Tanya’s back, sewing up the wound, and placing the lump of skin and flesh in a sample jar. Thompson says, “Outdoors you can’t just rely on sunscreen. Protect yourself in five ways with a hat, clothing, shade, sunglasses and sunscreen. Do that out there to avoid ending up in here.” Click on the image below to play the video.

Professor John Horvath, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Ageing, said that it was disturbing that after years of publicity about the adverse affects of sun exposure, many young people are still living dangerously. The youth target audiences have been selected on the basis that they have the worst sun protection behaviours and the highest frequency of sunburn.

Skin Cancer Campaign Online

The TV campaign points to an Australian government web site:

Five logos used in sun cancer awareness campaign

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA Hospital) is no stranger to film crews. In 1995 Channel Nine launched “RPA”, a reality TV series focusing on real-life cases in the hospital.

See the Carotid artery operation TV ad


The Skin Cancer surgery campaign was developed at BMF, Sydney, by executive creative director Warren Brown, copywriter Benn Sutton, art director Grant Booker, group account director Nick Garrett, account manager David Graville and agency producer Ros Payne.

Filming was shot by director Tim Gibbs via 8 Commercials.