New Zealand’s most at-risk women are not getting mammograms. It’s a cultural divide that has been resistant to change. Colenso went on a mission to understand these women. The result is a very beautiful, very powerful – and what must be compelling – campaign by Colenso BBDO for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ that calls on women to love and protect their bodies.
The campaign is centered around a poem performed by the Māori youth poetry group. Ahi Kā is a protest poem that calls on women to love their bodies the same way that New Zealand’s first women did. With embarrassment often cited as a reason that women avoid mammograms, and Māori women among the most at risk but least screened for breast cancer, the campaign has an important role to play.
To create the campaign for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ partnered with Māori youth poets, Ngā Hinepūkōrero, to share a message of body positivity. The poets tackle a barrier to mammograms not often discussed – body shame and embarrassment.
Maria Devereux, executive creative director at Colenso BBDO, commented, “After ongoing korero with Dr. Rachel Ka’ai-Mahuta and Hāmiora Bailey, we realized that within the te ao Māori world view lies a powerful message of body positivity – one that all NZ women can benefit from.”
Ngā Hinepūkōrero stated, “The way wāhine Māori feel about our bodies has changed throughout generations. From our ancestors’ respect for their bodies to our grandmothers’ feelings of shame and unacceptance, the current generation’s reclamation of te ao Māori attitudes towards the body, and the love that comes from that.
“Our poem tells the story of wāhine Māori and their journey back to respecting their breasts. We’re thrilled to be part of this national campaign, encouraging women to honor their whakapapa by loving their breasts and getting a mammogram.”
The campaign film features the voices of Ngā Hinepūkōrero and recalls the love the tupuna whāea had for their bodies. It voices a new commitment for New Zealand women today to honor their whakapapa by loving their breasts. The images are gorgeous – bright and strong to underscore the power of the message. They feature members of Ngā Hinepūkōrero and their mothers, illustrated by Atarangi Anderson and animated by Creature Post. The message is, Honour your whakapapa by loving your breasts. Get a mammogram, is shared within the film and through print executions featuring breast cancer survivors.
The campaign launched on October 3 with the 30-second film and the campaign covers TV, OOH, and online.