Sunbed to Coffin Transition for Melanoma Awareness

“There’s no such thing as a safe tan” is the jarring message of a new PSA by the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC). The PSA reveals that one person dies from melanoma every hour.

Sunbed shot in Melanoma awareness TV ad

As with many public service announcements about illnesses, the statistics can be staggering and the numbers mostly speak for themselves. The message in this spot is that Melanoma is a cancer that you can get from the result of your own actions, and not simply genetics or chance.

The spot uses a simple, striking visual concept of a tanning bed morphing into a coffin. A teenage girl lies down to a session of sun bed tanning, hoping to give her skin a healthy glow. Motion graphics state that, “UV rays can cause melanoma no matter where they come from” – thus, shattering the notion that tanning salons are safer than outdoor tanning.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

Sunbed shot in Melanoma awareness TV ad


The Sunbed spot was directed by Bryan Litman via Northern Lights, New York, with director of photography Chris Walters and Ray Foley. Litman is known for his role as producer and editor of Honey Trap, a short film written and directed by Bob Giraldi.

Northern Lights staff included editor David Gioiella, Smoke artist Christopher Harrison, executive producer Arthur Tremeau.

To raise awareness of the astonishing death-rate statistic, Northern Lights’ editor David Gioiella used jump cuts and frame removals.

“David set the tone of the spot right away. The audience is watching something that seems pretty benign – but they’re immediately uncomfortable, they can sense that something’s not right,” says director Bryan Litman.

“Melanoma doesn’t discriminate,” says Gioiella. “Many people, especially young women, are under the impression that they’re saving themselves from the sun. I tried to make the edit feel a bit uncomfortable, and leave viewers unsettled.”

In addition, smoke artist Christopher Harrison lent his talents to the color correct, titles and end card graphics.

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  • Brian

    No matter what steps are taken to reduce sun or tanning exposure it is still important to carefully examine your skin for suspicious moles that could portend a deadly melanoma. The traditional ABCD criteria can help guide risk assessment. A, for asymmetric lesions; B for moles with irregular Borders; C, for colors in the lesion; and D, for diameter greater than the tip of an eraser.

    More recently physicians have recognized the importance of moles that are new or getting larger in predicting high risk lesions. They have now added E for enlargement to the criteria and many recommend following the ABCDE’s.

    Although dermatologists almost always ask if you have any new or changing moles most people cannot accurately answer that question (particularly those with numerous moles and the greatest risk). One way to approach this problem for people at high risk is to use Total Body Photography to document the moles on your body. However, this is an expensive procedure (often costing $400-$600) that most insurance providers will not cover.

    There is now an inexpensive software program that allows people to use their own digital cameras at home to take their own body images at different time intervals (maximizing privacy). The images can be scaled and aligned and compared using a personal computer to allow for the efficient recognition of new or growing moles. This software was developed from funding provided by the National Cancer Institute and can be obtained by going to the website