Suncorp fights Skin Cancer – Aint No Sunshine

Suncorp, a Queensland based banking and insurance provider, launched a summer advertising campaign between November 2005 and February 2006, focusing on prevention of skin cancer. The television advertisement at the heart of the campaign was a ‘father and son’ interaction using the words of “Aint no sunshine” by Bill Withers.

Father and Son in Suncorp Skin Cancer TV ad

The TV ad begins with home movies in the sun on the front yard. A father affectionately holds and carries his baby son. We see him and his wife proudly supporting their son as he toddles on the lawn. They pose for the camera with their blond son for an outside birthday celebration. The boy as a young teenager poses with his dad, holding a large fish. Next it’s with the boy as a young adult, posing with his dad by the newly acquired car. Their last shot together is behind the barbecue with a beer. The super: “Every 7 minutes, a Queensland is diagnosed with skin cancer.” The man is comforted by his wife as he stands in front of his home, no son in sight. “Have your skin checked regularly”. The voiceover: “Suncorp and QIMR are working together to protect Queenslanders under the sun.” The birthday party shot is the only scene in which the son is wearing a top. A sobering pattern bearing in mind that many skin cancers develop in response to exposure to the sun before the age of 21.


The TV ad was created by George Patterson Y&R, Brisbane.

“Aint No Sunshine” was directed by Liz Murphy, at Taxi Film, Brisbane, with producer Andrew Wareham, director of photography Tony Luu, line producer Tanya Spencer.

Editing was done at Cutting Edge.

Suncorp and Skin Cancer

Suncorp in 2004 began a three year partnership with Queensland Institute of Medical Research to explore causes and prevention of skin cancer.

Kylie Allsop, sponsorship manager for Suncorp, explains that Suncorp continually aims to invest into the community in which it is based. With branches predominantly in Queensland and Northern Territory it made sense to find a way of connecting with a major issue facing people living in this part of Australia, sun cancer.

In Queensland, Australia, the lifetime risk for melanoma, a particularly malignant form of skin cancer, is up to 15% and for non-melanoma skin tumours the lifetime risk is 70%.
Most skin tumours are squamous cell carcinomas or basal cell carcinomas which are generally not life threatening but consume considerable resources in management. Merkel cell or small cell cancer of the skin is a rare skin cancer being studied at QIMR. This is an aggressive disease with early metastasis and poor survival.

QIMR’s scientists are investigating the genetic and environmental factors responsible for skin neoplasms, understanding the varied site distributions, improvement in solar protection and new treatments for local and systemic disease.

According to their press release, Suncorp has raised significant funding for QIMR through a number of fundraising initiatives including the Suncorp Ride 4 Research, the Bridge to Brisbane, staff fundraising and promotions with the Queensland Bulls.

The sponsorship also includes the promotion of sun safe messages on 21 Queensland beaches and throughout pools in association with Royal Life Saving Society Queensland. Suncorp put up sun safe signage on 21 South East Corner beaches reminding people to cover up from the sun. To back up the message 700 staff volunteers went to the beaches, installed Suncorp tents providing shade, spraying sunscreen on people and advising them to avoid over exposure to the sun. The program will be extended this year to North Queensland beaches in Cairns and Townsville and pools in Mackay.

Suncorp is partnering with Molescan skin cancer clinics, located throughout Australia, to educate the community about the need for regular skin checks. Computerised technology enables Molescan to store images of skin lesions and moles for life so that early changes can be detected. Suncorp staff were encouraged to lead the way in using the molescan checks.

Kylie Allsop at Suncorp says that the campaign has produced results. Research shows that there is a much higher level of awareness of the risks of skin cancer and the ways in which people can prevent and treat it. People have picked up the two messages, “Cover Up”, and “Get a skin check”. Personally, I can say that researching this story has made feel proud to have my banking and insurance with Suncorp.

Ain’t No Sunshine Lyrics

Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
It’s not warm when he’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
He’s always gone too long
Any time he goes away

Wonder this time where he’s gone
Wonder if he’s gone to stay
Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime he goes away
Anytime he goes away

Adapted from words written by Bill Withers