Fuel Your Imagination

Why Kate Winslet is lending her voice to Ovarian Cancer Action

‘I Will Survive’ is designed to both raise awareness of and also shine a spotlight on a pervasive issue so that generations of girls to come can benefit from the research that is conducted today.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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One woman dies of ovarian cancer every two hours in the UK, according to Ovarian Cancer Action. Yet almost half of 18-24 year old women would be put off seeing a doctor because they fear being examined intimately. While almost a third said they’d be scared they would be diagnosed with something serious, according to research undertaken by the charity.

Cary Wakefield, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, highlights the depth of the problem and the importance of early detection: “Today less than a third of women are diagnosed before their cancer spreads, where treatment becomes harder and chance of survival becomes low…If we act now they will survive.”

To meet this challenge a new campaign from the charity, ‘I Will Survive’ has been created to raise awareness and fund research into ovarian cancer. The inspiration behind the work came from Vicky Jacobs, former RKCR/Y&R Managing Director, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer six years ago. On meeting Wakefield, Jacobs decided to try to change the odds for the next generation of women and girls fighting the disease. A desire to make a difference which has been backed by individuals across the industry who have put their energy into promoting the campaign.

Today less than a third of women are diagnosed before their cancer spreads, where treatment becomes harder and chance of survival becomes low…If we act now they will survive.

Cary Wakefield, CEO, Ovarian Cancer Action

With a voiceover by the actor Kate Winslet, who lost her own mother to the disease in 2017, the ad features a cast of young girls speaking the words of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive which then merges into a rendition of the song by British musician Birdy. The spoken part of the video was designed to be said in the most authentic way possible, by inviting each girl to deliver her line as she wanted.

The film sets out to be both empowering and acutely hard hitting. The campaign runs across TV, online, press and OOH while several media outlets including Hearst, Ad Media and Sky have donated media inventory to ensure the message gets out.

One of the biggest problems with fighting ovarian cancer is the lack of understanding and awareness around it. As such it is a disease that for many years has been both overlooked and underfunded.  

This campaign is a testament to what can happen when the marketing industry pools its talent and collaborates to further a cause. As Wakefield said of the campaign, “So many people have helped us bring this campaign to life and hopefully this is just the start of something really powerful.” ‘I Will Survive’ is designed to both raise awareness of and also shine a spotlight on a pervasive issue so that generations of girls to come can benefit from the research that is conducted today.

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