Man-Boobs, is a quirky video campaign posted on April 19th, 2016 which borrows a pair of ‘man-boobs’ to raise awareness on breast cancer and instruct individuals on the methods of early detection in breast cancer. The creators of this viral video were Movimiento Ayuda Cáncer de Mama (MACMA), a non-profit organisation situated in Argentina and the agency creatives from DAVID Buenos Aires, those involved wanted to utilise social media as their platform to educate those about Breast Self-Examination (BSE) but were highly prevented by censorship laws, as Joaquin Cubria the creative director states “breast are not very welcomed; they are censored”, yet through the involvement of man boobs, not only did they involve the participation of men, but cleverly avoided obscenity.
Breast are not very welcomed; they are censoredJoaquin Cubria
In media man-boobs are usually delineated as an unattractive figure, yet they convert this negative stereotype to humorously enforce a cause. It was overwhelmingly successful in reaching a wider audience and in result of the campaign, patients, oncologist, psychologists, volunteers, benefactors and brands joined MACMA. The video garnered umpteen exposure at 43 million views and 193 million impressions on social media, even winning first place at the International Festival of Creativity, Cannes Lion Festival 2016. Becoming the most shared BSE video in history, not only did they educate people, it ignited debates on censorship policies and the state of gender equality. This video catalysed education and recognition of the over sexualisation of women breasts in media.
There are several factors which created such success, apart from its humorous, creative demonstration, the clarity, simplicity and concise nature effectively allowed it to be welcomed in the social media environments. Easily accessible and universal everyone could enjoy, understand and appreciate its worth. Also, it further inquired the involvement of men, not only targeting women, they introduced the possibility that men are also exposed to breast cancer. Creating the hashtag ‘#manboobsforboobs, this included the participation of all genders.
From this we can reflect on the importance of policies, despite strictures, designers should creatively circumvent the problem. Especially when designing a tobacco control intervention campaign for Central Java, it becomes important to understand the laws and cultural practices, to relate and socially engage with the audience. Economically, tobacco is a large market in Indonesia, as smoking is believed to enhance masculinity, when influencing behavioural change, it is always important to “prevent possible adverse social and economic impact” [World Health Organization 2005]. Further clearly explaining the justification for behavioural change, ultimately educating “ people to understand the harmful effect of tobacco better” [World Health Organization 2005] would naturally encourage change.
MACMA 2016, MACMA en los Medios, Florencia Morén, Chaco 40 – 4th B, Buenos Aires City viewed 22 November 2019. <http://www.macma.org.ar/medios>
World Health Organization 2005, WHO FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.<https://www.who.int/tobacco/framework/WHO_FCTC_english.pdf>
N. Houssami, S. Ciatto, F. Martinelli, R. Bonardi, S. W. Duffy 2009, Early detection of second breast cancers improves prognosis in breast cancer survivors, Annals of Oncology, Volume 20, Issue 9, Oxford University Press. <https://academic.oup.com/annonc/article/20/9/1505/218134>
Maurer Foundations 2019, How to do a Breast Self-Exam, Zubko Media, Melville, New York, viewed 22 November 2019. <https://www.maurerfoundation.org/about-breast-cancer-breast-health/how-to-do-a-bse-breast-self-exam/>
Mimi Nichter, S. Padmawati, M. Danardono, N. Ng, Y. Prabandari, Mark Nichter 2009, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., Emil Haury Building, Tucson, Arizona, USA. <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98>
Adsoftheworldvideo 2016, MACMA: Man boobs for boobs, campaign video, Youtube, viewed 22 November 2019. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz4c9zrVZZk&feature=emb_title>