ACS Consolidates Ad Messages

A new campaign for the American Cancer Society breaks this week on national network and cable television.

The effort, “This is the American Cancer Society,” departs from previous series by consolidating creative messages and media planning under one umbrella, according to Andy Goldsmith, director of account management at Atlanta-based T.G. Madison, which created the work.

“Instead of running separate campaigns for breast and colon cancer and branding for the ACS, this year we’re rolling the elements into one overall look and feel,” Goldsmith said.

Media planning and buys for the 2002 campaign mark a shift in focus from print to television. The Atlan-ta-based nonprofit organization decided to devote its $12 million budget primarily to media buys in a mix of network and cable channels including A&E, Lifetime, CNN and HGTV. Additional print, collateral and radio PSAs will be sent to the society’s 17 regional divisions.

The decision to focus brand messages on television is not a long-term approach, said Amy Swygert, national director of creative strategy for ACS. “Television gives us more efficiency in terms of reaching our target—women over 50,” she said.

The organization’s creative message has also been narrowed. “In the past we’ve talked about everything from research to support to information,” said Goldsmith.

Market research has shown that people do not realize the scope of the organization’s work beyond scientific and medical research, he said.

“This campaign is focused on the programs and services ASC can deliver on a local level,” Goldsmith said.

T.G. Madison’s “Yard Sale” television spot highlights the “Reach to Recovery” program in which breast cancer survivors help others diagnosed with the disease. “Bowling” touts the nonprofit’s 800-number and “Chat” emphasizes the new Cancer Survivor’s Network.