It all started during the first week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when videos of people performing the football move "contrôle de la poitrine" appeared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Five days later the Olympique de Marseille’s female football team posted their own "contrôle de la poitrine”, officially launching the campaign and inviting everyone to share a video of them performing the move.
Members of the football community responded instantly, sharing videos across all social media platforms. The movement spread quickly with people challenging, nominating and dedicating in their posts.
Meanwhile we sent branded balls to the press and influencers, who not only promoted our message but shared their own "contrôle de la poitrine”.
With help of this user generated content and the buzz that surrounded it, the movement spread to all of France which resulted in more women getting breast exams in hospitals.
By getting the men involved we took a step towards a more gender-aware society by changing the point of view from something strictly feminine to something that should be addressed by everyone.
The men participating realized that breast cancer was not just something that women had to worry about but something that everyone needs to come together to fight and prevent. Ignoring it was no longer an option.
By providing a campaign that didnt fit into stereotypes and cliches we pushed the conversation about breast exams be more open and less stigmatized.
In only 3 weeks with zero media spend we obtained a reach of over 90 000 000, over 6000 social media mentions, #controledelapoitrine was the leading hashtag on health forums and breast exams in Marseille increased by 17%.
Marseille has the lowest rate of breast exams in France (35%). Women are dying from something that is preventable because of lack of appropriate and relevant communication about prevention. Today communication about breast cancer is either banal or insensitive, made by men who trivialize the issue. We needed to find a way that was new, compelling and effective to talk about the disease.
Football trancends all barriers, gender, class, race, social and religious. This is particularly true in Marseille where their football team is loved and regarded as a local treasure. So the best way to get the message about preventing breast cancer accross was to use their club that they hold in high regard to deliver the message.
Our strategy was to do something female led in a male environment to start a positive movement ensuring women of all ages are getting the appropriate medical tests.