Sunburnt Kids Are Deemed ‘Red and Boring’ In This Quirky Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign

Danish agency & Co. brings some levity to a serious topic

Sunburnt kid with a frustrated look on face
The Danish Cancer Society and safety nonprofit TrygFonden have teamed up to encourage the use of 'shade, sun hat and sunscreen.'
& Co.

For many people, the fun of summer can be quickly dampened by a severe burn.

The plight of sunburn is particularly bad in Scandinavian countries: According to the World Cancer Research Fund, Norway and Denmark had the third and fourth highest rates of melanoma last year, respectively. Among women, Denmark had the highest rate.

Since 2017, both The Danish Cancer Society and safety nonprofit TrygFonden have been working with Copenhagen agency & Co. to change these alarming rates by educating the public about the importance of protecting themselves in the sun.

Through a platform called “Help a Dane,” the agency has created a number of oddball campaigns that encourage Danish people to be more careful when they jet off to countries like Thailand and Greece (for instance, last year & Co. made a number of wacky music videos on the topic).

While the effort appears to be working—according to & Co., 63% of Danes said they remembered sun protection after seeing the campaign—the organizations are now setting their sights on kids to make sure that parents are doing their part to keep their children safe.

In a new short film, a Spanish boy by the name of Ramon humorously leads a crusade against sunburnt Danish children, who he declares are “so boring to play with” after they’ve spent too much time in the sunlight since they’re too distracted by their pain.

His anger stems from a young Dane who spent the day on a banana boat sans sunscreen—and is now paying the price. While the approach is lighthearted, Ramon encourages viewers to “Help a Small Dane” by reminding them to seek shade, sun hats and sunscreen at the end.

“Using humour to tackle an urgent situation was a conscious strategy,” said Ole Hoffmann, art director at & Co., in a statement. “Most people generally don’t like being told what to do but Danes possess an admirable ability to laugh at themselves. The humorous nature of the campaign allows us to hold up a mirror to the Danes and show them how ridiculous it is to neglect sun protection. It’s an urgent reminder that invites them to play along and poke fun at themselves.”

To further promote the effort, families who leave Copenhagen Airport over the next few weeks will be given a goodie bag to help “Small Danes” stay protected.

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