When marketing for a cause, such as cancer research, autism awareness and the countless other causes, it is important to bring attention to that cause. This type of marketing is done to change behaviors, and bring a change to how society views things. Initiate action, not only to raise awareness, but to get donations of money, volunteering time, sign a petition, or writing letters, to name a few (Mahoney & Tang, 2017). Sometimes, while the effort goes viral, it misses its end goal, of awareness, or calls to action. The viral Breast Cancer Awareness campaign does just that, it misses its mark. While it is fun to participate, many think it’s just a game, without knowing it has anything to do with Breast Cancer Awareness.
Every October we (women) get these messages to post on Facebook. And we are not to tell any males why we post them. Do you know why we do this? For the first two years I even participated in it, not knowing. The third year, I found out this was for Breast Cancer Awareness! Silly me, I thought it was just a game, among my friends.
These posts will be about where you put your purse. Your supposed to say, “I like it on the _____” and you fill in the blank. Another is to simply state what color your bra is that you are wearing at the moment. Just post the color. Every year it changes.
So, the question is what purpose does it serve? Yes, it’s fun to participate, but how is this bringing awareness for breast cancer? It adds no information on breast cancer. Shouldn’t there be information on the subject?
I’m all for being an activist, even if it’s cyber activism. But how does this bring awareness to breast cancer? Shouldn’t men be aware of breast cancer also? Why keep them out of the loop? If they know more about breast cancer, maybe they will be able to better support the women in their lives dealing with it. And men also suffer from breast cancer! They need to be aware. In 2012, out of 2,000 men who were diagnosed with breast cancer, 400 had died from it (Mahoney & Tang, 2017).
The answers to these questions only sexualize breast cancer. It seems fun, but in today’s society, where women are speaking out about being sexualized doesn’t this add to the problem? Aren’t we allowing ourselves to be sexualized?
From a marketing standpoint, it was a fun thing to do. Yet, it really has nothing to do with bringing awareness to the cause. That is the point of marketing for a cause, if it does not bring awareness? Does it have a call to action? Other than posting a few words, no, it does not even come close to doing so. Instead, wouldn’t it be better to disseminate the information. Encourage us to do self-checks, regular mammograms? How about volunteering, at a chemotherapy treatment center? How about awareness for men? Other call to actions, could be a petition, donating (time or money). There is so much more we can do than telling the world where we like to put our purse, or what color bra we are wearing.