Cancer Research overhauls marketing

Cancer Research UK is overhauling its marketing strategy in a bid to increase donations after admitting that existing branding “has been holding it back”.

Cancer Research Logo

The charity hopes that its new logo, tone of voice and approach to marketing will help boost donations to fund its research into preventing, controlling and curing cancer.

A print, outdoor, digital and PR campaign designed to explain the change in identity and raise awareness will launch next month. It will be followed by an increased marketing effort to promote the new branding in the coming year, including TV activity in 2013.

Richard Taylor, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, told Marketing Week the refresh aims to create a brand personality that is “smart, brave, engaging and optimistic”. He adds previous activity created the perception that the charity was “too clinical” and “too scientific”.

Cancer Research will now celebrate its scientists and Race for Life fundraisers as heroes in campaigns, using lines such as: “Heroes wear lab coats” and “Heroes wear running shoes” in future advertising campaigns. It will also use the line: “For you, because of you, thanks to you” to better communicate how it relies on fundraising support and drive engagement.

Taylor adds: “There’s a lot of uncertainty about around what we do. People don’t have a clear idea how we’re relevant to them. Our work isn’t changing, it’s about how we present ourselves. We’ll be more confident about our work and bold in how we talk and be less clinical by using language that people use in their daily lives to be a bit warmer.”

“The challenge for us is that our fundraising income has stayed flat [at £432m], but an increasing number of people are getting cancer. We’re also at a golden era of research into cancer, we’re making huge advances and we need to exploit that. We’re only limited by the funds we can raise so the more we can make the public think of themselves as shareholders, the more we can raise.”

The new logo retains the pink colour from previous branding but adds a “more zingy” turquoise and purple colour scheme. It uses a number of coloured dots to create the recognisable ‘C’ of cancer, but also gives it flexibility to adapt the creative for different communications purposes.

The charity is investing £680,000 on introducing the new brand identity across all its communications platforms, including refitting its 600 high street charity stores. It hopes to refit 20 per cent of outlets by the end of the year.

Cancer Research Posters

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