Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Be Frank Campaign by Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) (#506)

Jane Kweh 1 , James Halladay 2 , Joo Hong Khor 2 , Kristofer Rogers 3 , Chong Wei Siong 1 , Muhamad Hadi Sawal 1 , Sook Huey Low 1 , Soo Hwang Teo 1
  1. Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
  2. Account Executive, M&C Saatchi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. SimplyGiving.com, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background and Context:

The ‘Be Frank Campaign’ by CARIF is inspired by Malaysian cancer survivor, Frank Chong, who is the first Malaysian to run the world’s most challenging 89km Comrades Marathon in South Africa for three consecutive years since 2012. This campaign captures the very essence of Frank: his courage in standing up to cancer and his determination to bust cancer myths by being frank (speaking up) about cancer.


The aim was to inspire all Malaysians that anyone can “Be Frank: raise fund for cancer research” and “Be Frank: speak up about cancer”.


The “Be Frank Campaign” included cancer survivors and their caregivers in three ways. First, “Franks” organised events, including jazz evenings, yogathons, bake offs and quit tobacco or lose weight challenges to raise funds for cancer research. Second, “Franks” recorded selfies and posted on “Be Frank” Facebook. Finally, “Franks” ran the Frankathon, an interactive running event where participants raise funds by ‘Donating a kilometer’.

Programme Process:

Recruitment channels include radio, newspapers, blogs, social media and ground event. Emphasis on every one and anyone can ‘Be Frank’. In parallel, we adopted participants and sponsors to convert kilometers to donations.

Costs and returns:

This innovative way of execution enabled us to involve a large number of participants and 5,300 kilometers donated which was traditionally impossible with limitation of space. RM4,900 was spent and in return, a total of RM55,500 was raised in a span of one month.

Outcomes/What was learned:

We found that the simple and impactful message of “Be Frank” was key to attracting attention to the campaign. “Frankathon”, we found that barriers to participation were low, and consequently, the campaign quickly reached anyone at any given time or space by incorporating the campaign into their existing exercise routine.