Breasts Have a Lot to Say to Each Other, Especially About Cancer, in These Charming PSAs

Peruvian stars confront misconceptions and fears keeping women from getting mammograms

Peruvian actress Ebelin Ortiz is one of four women to star in the PSA campaign. Circus Grey
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

If women’s breasts could speak to each other, what would they say?

According to public service announcements from Peruvian agency Circus Grey, they’d discuss everything from meditation and menopause to existential crises, job changes and fuchsia hair. But mainly, one (the voice of reason) would convince the other (the rebel) to go to the doctor for an annual mammogram.

In a series of visually arresting spots likely to imprint on the brain, four famous Peruvian actors drive home the point that early detection is key in the fight against breast cancer. 

The somewhat safe-for-work ads, with each actor’s face taking the place of nipples on side-by-side, flesh-toned, balloon-like structures, launched this week for the League Against Cancer and World Breast Cancer Day. Aptly titled, “Boob Talk,” the spots pretty much need to be seen to be believed.

Circus Grey, based in Lima, recruited popular stars Patricia Portocarrero, Leslie Stewart, Ebelin Ortiz and Anai Padilla to appear in the campaign that’s intended to inject a little levity into the conversation around a serious health issue. 

Research from the World Health Organization has found that breast cancer has become the most common type of cancer in Latin America, causing more women’s deaths than any other cancer. By 2040, the region can expect a 64% increase in breast cancer cases, the WHO says.

Latin American women often cite fear as the main reason they don’t get annual mammograms, so looking at the insights and data, the agency decided to “give a voice to the boobs of recognized Peruvian actresses.”

The women, during their 60-second PSAs, confront some common misconceptions and excuses. Stewart, for instance, says that no one in her family has cancer, so she should be able to skip her exams, while Ortiz says she looks and feels healthy so she couldn’t possibly suffer from cancer. 

In each scenario, the more proactive breast convinces the hesitant one to make a doctor’s appointment, with statements like, “If we detect in time, we’ll heal in time.”

These aren’t the first anthropomorphized private parts to appear in advertising, with “Boob Talk” being just the latest in the commercial subgenre.

Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne brought men’s genitalia to life in a 2015 campaign for Bonds underwear dubbed “The Boys.” The spots centered on two testicles (costumed actors hanging out in wicker swings) bantering back and forth about about their sad, painful lives in ill-fitting, raggedy tighty whities. Their situation improves markedly with a new pair of Bonds undies.

Other breast cancer PSA campaigns have also found clever ways to get around broadcast and social media restrictions against images of breasts. Agency network David won global acclaim (and a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good) with its #ManBoobs4Boobs campaign, which showed a woman demonstrating a self-exam on a man’s ample chest, then followed it up in 2017 with a musical spot featuring singing breasts called “Everybody Loves Boobs.”

CREDITS: 

Client: Liga contra el Cáncer
President: Adolfo Dammert Ludowieg
General Manager: Damary Milla
Medical Director: Raúl Velarde
Communications Director: Gianina Orellana

Agency: Circus Grey
CEO: Zinka Mendoza
President & CCO: José Luis Rivera y Piérola
CCO: Charlie Tolmos
CD: Yasu Arakaki / Rodrigo Melgar
Copywriter: Luis Alburqueque
Art Director: Oscar Gonzales
Creative team: Alessandra Castañeda, Ada Rucabado, Lucía Chirinos, Piero Roncal.
Innovation & Planning Director: Nicolás Rodríguez
New Business Director: Valeria Malone
Production Director: Renzo Talavera
Executive Producers: Katty Santillana, Pierina Ivazeta


@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.
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