Black men over the age of 45 are more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than the national average but not enough were getting checked out early enough. The NHS wanted a campaign to raise awareness of this increased risk of prostate cancer; the focal point of which would be a mobile van touring local communities, offering advice and blood tests. We needed to drive visibility and awareness with a view to generating pre-booked visits and on-the-day drop-ins.

Provocative thought

Our research found that black men may have avoided testing for a range of reasons, from embarrassment to fears around invasive treatment, but also owing to a sense that the NHS doesn’t represent them or their communities well. We needed to challenge these barriers and convince black men that the van represented a space where they’d be listened to and feel at ease.


Our campaign led with thought-provoking statistics yet, remained decidedly optimistic – it was less about fear and more about the freedom from it. The empowering thought at the heart of the idea was “This Van Can” and we used a bold and uplifting visual identity, which featured real people who’d experienced prostate cancer first-hand, without any of the medical and clinical imagery which might reinforce fears rather than alleviate them. The campaign reached over half a million people on social media; was picked up by Channel 4 for Steph’s Packed Lunch and has led to referrals for some people to get further checks at hospital following a van appointment.

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