Help a Small Dane - Cover image
Help a Small Dane - Cover image

Help a Small Dane

The Danish Cancer Society & TrygFonden

Help a Small Dane is the last chapter of the highly awarded sun safety campaign Help a Dane that changed lifelong behavior by getting the world to talk about Danish sun habits. 

The Challenge

Informative health and awareness campaigns are tricky, because a lot of serious information and messaging needs to be conveyed to an audience who essentially really isn’t interested in being lectured… Yet, in an extensive effort to get the Danes to take better care of themselves in the sun, The Danish Cancer Society and TrygFonden have, since 2017, successfully appealed for better sun habits through the popular and highly effective creative universe ‘Help a Dane’. Help a Small Dane was the third campaign in line and was launched in the summer of 2019, in an effort to intensify focus on the sun habits of Danish children. 

In spite of the success of the previous Help a Dane campaigns, studies from the summer of 2018 showed that the children had been overlooked. In fact, a total of 41% of all Danish children between the ages 0-18 had experienced sunburn during their family holiday. 

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The Result

To be successful in getting people to change their behavior and mindset, an important learning is to not lecture people. Hence, the perhaps single most effective tool across the Help a Dane campaigns, have been their ability to bridge different cultures through the use of humor, playing around with the language barriers and comically emphasizing us Danes inability to take the proper precautions when in the sun. So, although the campaign budget couldn’t carry a creative solution that relied on activating the five countries yet again, we still wanted to utilize the humor of language and culture as the essence of what had worked so well for the previous campaigns.

That is why we chose little Ramon from Spain – the Danes most preferred summer holiday destination – to be our main character. In a very Wes-Anderson-like universe Ramon lectures the Danes (parents) on how to properly protect children from the sun, so that he can play with his very sunburnt friend, Viggo Mortensen (a very ordinary Danish name, but also the name a very famous Danish Hollywood-actor -a built in conversation starter), once again. 

The Result

Help a Small Dane succeeded in encouraging 56% of its target audience to be more conscious of protecting their children from the sun - a whopping 273% more than the initial campaign KPI of 15%. Moreover, 58% of the audience said that they had become much better informed about the harmful effect of the sun’s rays when on summer holidays, surpassing the original campaign target with 93%. 

Suffice to say, the Help a Dane universe has overall become a very effective means to communicate very information-heavy messages - a format that has efficiently challenged the boundaries on how to approach health and awareness information campaigns going forward.