The Survivors Collection

The Survivors Collection


Auckland, New Zealand

Category Best Execution of Native Advertising

Overview of this campaign

The Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand’s mission is to continue to push for new frontiers in early detection, treatment and support. Like other cancers, general awareness is high, but getting women and their loved ones to look out for the tell-tale early signs is often a difficult task. In short; people don’t like being preached at! So for NZ breast cancer month in October 2017, a very different and fascinating campaign was launched.

Called The Survivors Collection, it was based on the insight that breast cancer has been around for hundreds of years and had in fact been documented in paintings.Dutch masters Rubens and Rembrandt faithfully painted their models as they saw them. In doing so, they captured dimpling, puckering, lumps and marks that today we recognise as signs of breast cancer.

Knowledge Beats Breast Cancer was the campaign message that celebrated the improvement in medical care in the 21st century, while reminding modern women to ‘know your normal’ and be aware of any changes.

Kiwi breast cancer survivors were photographed in similar poses to three ancient masterpieces. At first glance, the photographic style tricks the viewer into thinking the pictures are from yesteryear. Look more closely, though, and you’ll see the scars of the modern women tell of a happier outcome than they could’ve expected in Reubens’ or Rembrandt’s day.

Using the first ever NZ Herald top-tier branded content digital placement – Interactive longform, a new innovation allowing us to tell more in-depth, creatively led, mobile-first stories.  This was our first commercial campaign to use this digital platform.  We paired this with our first ever 4-page Branded Content launch in Canvas magazine, we developed a visually-led content piece that not only showcased the paintings alongside the new photographs, but allowed people to go more in depth into the personal stories about each of the women featured.

Results for this campaign

Our visual ‘masterpiece’ was NZME’s first ever long form digital branded content piece – which dramatically topped our usual average time on page by an additional 30 seconds (average 0.9-1 min, Breast Cancer piece 1.30 min). 

Within print, our 4 page approach focused on the incredible imagery, rather than being heavily text-led and through the design-led approach guided people to understand more around what the symptoms are and build awareness on self-checking.


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