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Cancer Institute NSW

Your Time In The Sun

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, and it’s the most common cancer affecting young Australians. 

The problem is, even though young Australians are aware of the danger, their behaviour in the sun remains unsafe.

This campaign targeted millennials to raise awareness of the deadly health consequences of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and use the increased awareness to drive behaviour change, by persuading them to protect themselves by wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen and seeking shade.

The insight was that – millennials are extremely ambitious. They want to learn more, see more and do more than any generation before. 


When developing the creative, I wanted young people to feel what it would be like to have their time cut short – before they could achieve all they wanted to.


The idea was ‘Your Time In The Sun’: this refers to the idyllic time when you’re young, ambitious, experiencing new things, and enjoying life to the full. It’s also a time when you’re at high risk of UVR overexposure, as you’re frequently outdoors… and this can have tragic consequences.

The campaign worked on multiple levels, mixing emotional and rational messaging. 


The film played across all screens, and emotionally resonated with young people and older generations, because it was about how precious life is.


The broader campaign assets included a website; banners, digital outdoor (which dynamically displayed live UVR updates) and video testimonials from young people affected by skin cancer. These elements delivered the facts in a compelling way, that were simple to understand, showing young Australians they must protect themselves against UVR and the damage it can do, to be all they hope to be.

My Role:

  • Idea

  • Copywriting

  • Creative Direction

  • Art Direction

  • Graphic Design

  • Photography/Retouching

​The Results:

86% aged 13-17 agreed the campaign was effective at getting them to reconsider the dangers of UVR.


63% aged 13-17 who saw the campaign said they had increased their level of sun protection.


2:27m average time on website with over 92,000 unique visitors. 

The film was deliberately unlike previous CINSW campaigns, conceived to appeal emotionally to a universal audience using a compelling, cinematic and artful approach.

The responsive website presented facts about UV Radiation, DNA damage, Melanoma and Secondary Cancer using animated illustrations and photographs art directed to align with the look & feel of modern encyclopaedias and medical journals.

The out of home posters were designed with a messaging hierarchy focusing on the primary line that made the largest impact in testing ~ UV can damage your DNA. Secondary messages were integrated into the artwork so those on foot could linger longer and absorb all the facts.


Dynamic digilite OOH ads pulled in weather feeds to display live UV index levels. The placements were contextual, so they were relevant to locations. In city locations we would promote slapping on a hat and sunscreen. But we only displayed slipping on a shirt at beach locations where it was relevant.

We created a series of video testimonials in which young people affected by skin cancer told their stories. Cut down versions were used in social to drive to the long form versions of the films on the website. Veronica's story (above) had over 2000 comments on Facebook.

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