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Give-A-Care finds the right words

What do you say to a young woman who’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer? That was the question behind the Give-A-Care product line for the Rethink Breast Cancer organization. All the products show a true understanding of what young women with breast cancer go through. They also help fill the communication gap between the patient and her loved ones by combining comfort and awareness.

What started out as a simple brief for an awareness campaign turned into a permanent and expanding product line, available exclusively on the www.giveacare.ca e-commerce website to fund the cause. Major retailers such as Aveda and H&M are looking to join the initiative and help it grow. As a result, the Give-A-Care brand has become a genuine agent of change.

“Young women with cancer don’t need flowers or cards; they need support and understanding.”

Nellie Kim

Partner, Vice-President, Creative Director, lg2

Strategy

The Rethink Breast Cancer organization approached lg2 with the idea of creating a brochure for the medical staff who treat young women with breast cancer, hoping to educate them about the day-to-day reality faced by their patients. Since nurses and doctors are mostly used to treating older women, certain topics that are more relevant to women in their twenties and thirties end up getting ignored, when they should really be addressed as soon as the diagnosis is made. Topics like premature menopause, breast reconstruction, fertility preservation, financial resources and job loss, and answering questions about their illness from young children.

Considering the delicate topic the awareness campaign was asked to address, and since ads almost always talk about breast cancer prevention and detection, the lg2 team decided to conduct qualitative interviews with more than 500 young women who were undergoing treatment. That, of course, required having a real conversation. One that nobody ever wants to have. But the participants from the survey sample helped us more deeply understand their reality, which in turn helped us uncover some important insights. Out with sympathy cards that sounded fake, candy that didn’t agree wth treatment and flowers that ended up wilted.

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Design and packaging

The 22 items in the Give-A-Care product line were all created in response to genuine human insights. The descriptive product names of each gift allow a young patient’s friends and family to be able to offer her real empathy by giving them a glimpse of the daily challenges faced by young women with breast cancer. Every visual icon is hand-drawn, creating a personal touch that is found on all the communication material promoting the product line. Each product, including containers and contents, were tested by focus groups, as well as by health professionals, to eliminate the risk of infection or incompatibility.

A printed brochure (yes, they still exist) ships with every product, and can also be downloaded free through the website. The medical instructions are spread out over several pages to make the information easier to digest, educating young women about how to ensure they get the care they require once a diagnosis has been made. Beyond providing much-needed support to these young women, the e-commerce program also serves as a fundraising campaign, with all money raised going directly to the Rethink Breast Cancer organization, directly supporting their mission. Gift packages can be personalized with a specially designed card at the time of purchase. From conception to execution, Give-A-Care has been hailed as a genuine way to offer hope without falling into the usual clichés.

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Client

Canadian charity Rethink Breast Cancer wants to put an end to the myth that breast cancer is an “old lady’s disease.” The organization offers a host of resources and proper support to patients under the age of 40 and their loved ones as well. Give them encouragement here: https://rethinkbreastcancer.com