Behavioural insight to beat skin cancer

In a recent workshop I used the brilliant example of skin care brand Sol De Janeiro to demonstrate the value of understanding behaviour. It is an example worth sharing…

Sol De Janeiro with Ogilvy Brazil created ‘Tattoo Skin Cancer Check’ to increase early detection of skin cancer – the most common type in Brazil, with a rising incidence among those younger than 40.

‘Tattoo Skin Cancer Check’ engaged tattooists – persuading them to to attend lectures by surgical oncologist João Duprat Neto, a director at the A.C. Camargo Cancer Centre. The aim was simple, to give them the visual knowledge to identify potential lesions on skin.

Behind ‘Tattoo Skin Cancer Check’ is an understanding of target audience behaviour. Around half of young Brazilians (at greater risk of skin cancer) will visit a tattooist.

Cleverly it works with existing behaviour and social influences. Only a fraction of those visiting a tattoo studio would be persuaded to self-check and even fewer would ever trouble a doctor or dermatologist.

The result was impressive. According to their D&AD submission, “10,500 tattoo artists were certified from all over Brazil with each averaging six clients a day.” That’s more than 400,000 opportunities to check each week with no change in young Brazilians’ behaviour.


Cover photography is the work of Dennis Sloan

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