Cancer Research Malaysia partnered with Ensemble Worldwide to launch the first World Reverse Cancer Day on 2 April, a reverse on the dates for World Cancer Day which takes place annually on 4 February.
This was in a bid to raise awareness that research is being conducted to reverse the impact of cancer in the lives of Malaysians, as well as increase funding and support for its ongoing research efforts. The agency devised the idea of World Reverse Cancer Day to highlight the message and importance of research towards reversing cancer, and finding a cure. The #reverseforcancer campaign seeks to drive awareness towards the day, and serve as a simple but memorable message for the public.
The #reverseforcancer challenge which was driven by social media influencers encouraged the public to post their own reverse video or photo on social media and challenge their friends to do the same. The #reverseforcancer event was open for the public at APW, Bangsar over the weekend of 31 March to 1 April, providing an opportunity for Malaysians to get up close and personal with Cancer Research Malaysia’s top researchers who provided workshops and information around the themes of genetics, immunotherapy, mobile innovations and the progress towards eradicating cervical cancer.
The event addressed some of the preconceptions and stigma around cancer, and aimed to show the public the significant advances that have been taking place in the prevention, screening and treatment of cancer.
Executive creative director of Ensemble Worldwide, Chan Woei Hern said, “We wanted to give a voice to the great work Cancer Research Malaysia is doing, and to reach the public in an impactful way to spread the message beyond existing corporate donors. World Reverse Cancer Day was a natural extension of that, serving as the landmark event to drive home the message that cancer cures are within reach provided there is more support and funding towards research initiatives. In time we hope more partners as well as more research organisations around the world pick up and adopt World Reverse Cancer Day.”
Ensemble also partnered with Grim Film, a production house that creates original content for its own YouTube channel which currently has over 170,000 subscribers. The founder, local YouTube artist, Jared Lee, and his team were instrumental in the production of the reversing cancer brand film for Cancer Research Malaysia, and supported with bringing together a group of KOLs (key opinion leaders) for the #reverseforcancer initiative. These KOLs included Venice Min, Dan Khoo, Luna Tasha, Brandon Ho, Pauline, Lizz Chloe, Jin Lim, Elfira Loy, Brian See, Cody, Ernest, Joey Leong and Michelle Leong.
The Ensemble team worked across several parties to bring World Reverse Cancer Day to fruition. SKINNYFATKIDS (SFK), an experience design agency with offices in Malaysia and Indonesia supported largely by bringing together the brand experience at APW and fleshing out the reverse campaign experience for the public to a tangible space. SFK’s past assignments include DHL, Electrolux, Ferrari, BonusLink, Tiger Beer, Nespresso and Pacific Place to name a few.
Studio DL provided complimentary professional photography for the KOL shoots as well as space for the filming of the brand film. Art Printing Works Bangsar, known as APW, served as the host venue for the entire campaign, providing complimentary rental of space and substantially reduced charges. The Riuh creative platform also supported by providing an opportunity for a complimentary booth space for Cancer Research Malaysia to promote the event.
3ciety, a homegrown startup that allows for the creation and sale of custom apparel online, sponsored and subsidised the bespoke #reverseforcancer apparel. 3ciety’s services also extends the campaign’s reach nationwide via the World Reverse Cancer Day digital storefront allowing people across Malaysia to engage with and support the movement. Doodle Malaysia, a loose community of artists supported the event by providing a live visual art display, with the message of reversing cancer, and a hidden message for members of the public to “find the ‘C’”.
Professor Teo comments, “The Ensemble team really immersed themselves into understanding the narrative of reversing cancer, and how to get that message out to the public by looking across every single touchpoint. We are now one step closer towards our goal of reversing cancer, and getting there each day.”
The Facebook video had over 5.8k views, 105 shares and 148 reactions at the time of writing.
Chief executive officer of Cancer Research Malaysia, Professor Dr. Teo Soo-Hwang OBE added, “At the beginning of the last century, cancer was a death sentence, but now, one in two patients survive at least 10 years, and many even longer because of research done to improve prevention, detection and treatment of cancers. As a global cancer research community, we believe that by 2050, three in four patients will survive at least 10 years, but in order for us to get there, we need to continue to invest in research.”
Amit Sutha, managing director of Ensemble Worldwide added, “This event was a culmination of all parties coming together for a great purpose, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of all partners involved.” Ensemble Worldwide worked closely with parent network IPG Mediabrands to deliver pro bono PR, media consultancy and services, alongside complimentary media space from Mediabrands’ partner media owners.