10 Spare Minutes

10 Spare Minutes NFP Cervical Cancer Campaign Finalist


Cervical cancer screenings are a difficult topic to promote for obvious reasons, so I decided to try a a different approach in my integrated campaign to encourage young women in the North West to go for regular scans.

Focus groups early on in the project determined that there were 4 main reasons that women avoided these screenings, which were fear, embarrassment, lack of time, and forgetfulness. I chose to focus on the issue of time for two reasons: a busy lifestyle is something most young women can understand, and many will already have other activities in their lives that they do not feel they have enough time for, and secondly because the length of time these check ups take is largely misunderstood.

My print, mock-guerilla and social media campaign focused on the idea that the screening takes only ’10 spare minutes’ – comparing this to the time wasting activities we all do throughout the day that take up much more time. By picking locations that all women could recognise as places that they have had to linger at, such as bus stops, train stations, and pub bathrooms, and providing humorous examples of time wasting behaviour, I could hopefully strike a nerve. All of these sites will give the impression that someone has taken the screenings message into their own hands, and spread it in their own way, be it through words written in lipstick on a bathroom mirror, or graffiti on a bus stop poster.

Alongside the mock-guerilla campaign, were a series of print adverts in women’s magazines, again ‘defaced’ to show that your 10 minutes is better spent visiting a clinic, than finishing yet another sudoku puzzle. The hashtag #10spareminutes on social media would involve people sharing their favourite or most embarrassing ways that they choose to waste their time, to show that while we all procrastinate, there are some things that we should not keep putting off, especially when it comes to our health.

My campaign was selected as as finalist in the NFP Cervical Cancer Campaign 2012/13, with elements being introduced into current advertising work taking place in the North West of England.

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