Cancer Research UK unveils first brand campaign

Cancer Research UK is launching its first major brand advertising campaign since overhauling its identity earlier this year, in a bid to step away from “too clinical” perception and make research relevant to supporters.

The “thought-provoking” ad campaign, which launches on Boxing Day (26 December), aims to encourage people to donate and support its work by making its research relevant to them.

The campaign positions research as the enemy of cancer and aims to inspire people that beating cancer is an achievable goal.The TV ad states that research has beat diseases such as polio, and will one day beat cancer.

It will tell real stories of cancer patients to show the progress of its research and offer proof that investing in researcher saves lives. Real life stories include that of BBC Newsreader Nicholas Owen who survived kidney cancer.

Cancer Research says it is taking a different direction with the “bold” campaign in a bid to challenge current perceptions about scientific research and present a warmer persona. When the charity unveiled its new-look brand identity earlier this year it said one reason behind the change in approach was that a lot of people believe the charity was “too clinical”.

Natasha Hill, director of brand and strategic marketing at Cancer Research UK says: “This has got to be our boldest and most exciting advertising campaign so far.  We’re taking a new approach which we hope will help reignite support for the work we carry out. We’re making progress day by day, but we can’t sit back and relax.  One day we will beat all cancers, and we’d like everyone to help us make it sooner.”

Two TV ads, one focussing on childhood leukaemia and the other more generally on cancer sufferers, were created by AMV BBDO.

Activity will include press, PR, social digital, outdoor radio and TV. It will run until February 2013.

Cancer Research UK also worked with agencies including 33Seconds, Conran Design Group and Mediacom.

In November the charity launched a direct response TV ad using the new branding to encourage supporters to donate £2 a month.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here