E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Pretty Shady - engaging young Australians to stop skin cancer one summer at a time (#800)

Blanche Waddell 1 , Sally Dunlop 1 , Caroline Anderson 1 , Alecia Brooks 1 , Lauren Lee 1
  1. Cancer Institute NSW, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia

Background and Context:

Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians1. Yet, despite high incidence rates, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers2. Young people are the most ‘pro-tanning’ age group and also least likely to adopt sun protection measures3. While skin cancer prevention campaigns in NSW have contributed to positive shifts in knowledge and attitudes around skin cancer and sun tanning, routine and comprehensive use of sun protection measures remains a significant challenge.


To evaluate the implementation of a new skin cancer prevention campaign, Pretty Shady, targeting 13-24 year olds.


The Pretty Shady campaign was launched over the 2013/14 summer, aiming to positively reposition the five sun protection measures and address social barriers to sun protection. The campaign encouraged young people to “be part of the generation that stops skin cancer, one summer at a time”.

Programme/Policy Process:

The campaign promotes effective sun protection measures in relevant digital environments as well as settings where young people are likely to be exposed to UVR and engage in tanning behaviours. An integrated marketing campaign was delivered utilising paid and unpaid advertising through ambient/street media, outdoor, cinema, subscription TV, seeding and social media platforms. Campaign components included an online video manifesto, celebrity ambassadors and limited edition giveaway sun protection products.

Outcomes/What was learned:

The Pretty Shady campaign demonstrated strong online reach and engagement including over 1.2mil views of the video manifesto on YouTube, over 5000 fans on Facebook with an average of 1.5 stories generated per fan and over 95,000 website visits. The campaign tracking survey showed that prompted recognition of the campaign peaked at 40% and averaged 19%. Recognition and engagement were higher among those with ‘pro-tanning’ attitudes. The campaign was successful in prompting action in 72% of those who had seen the campaign.

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australasian Association of Cancer Registries, Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2008. Cancer series no. 46. Cat. No. 42. 2008, AIHW: Canberra
  2. Armstrong BK. How sun exposure causes skin cancer: an epidemiological perspective. In: Hill D, Elwood JM, English DR, eds. Prevention of skin cancer. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004:89–116.
  3. Volkov A, Dobbinson S, Wakefield M, Slevin T 2013, ‘Seven-year trends in sun protection and sunburn among Australian adolescents and adults’, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 63-69.