It’s October and boobs are coming to a social media feed near you.
On Sept. 26, the Breast Cancer Foundation of Singapore launched a campaign in partnership with DDB Singapore to promote October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The series of advertisements manipulate the icons of social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to look like breasts. The key message is clever: “If only you checked your breasts as often.”
The intention of the campaign is sweet and the idea is inventive, but there is a lack of consistency between the three key pieces. The Facebook and Twitter icons use negative space to form these silhouettes while Instagram’s icon uses the camera lens as a nipple. There is also a disconnect between the new designs and the original colors of the icons. For the Facebook and Twitter icons, the use of the familiar shades of blue is arguably more successful than the new palette used for Instagram. The subtlety makes viewers look twice then think twice.
The only weakness is the size and format of the icons don’t seem to have been considered. At a large size, the breast shapes register well, but at a smaller dimension the nipples and fingernail details get lost. For environmental graphics or print ads this isn’t a relevant issue, but considering the foundation recently launched a petition to appeal the use of their icons on the platforms themselves, it should be noted the relationship between positive and negative spaces becomes skewed. Simply put, using the icons as actual icons removes meaning from the design.
However, the webpage for people to pledge their support has been active for less than a week and they have already garnered nearly 800 supporters. It’s obvious both the intent and the idea strongly resonate with today’s audience. The copy of the campaign is incredibly strong and effective. It explains the art direction and calls people to action.
The true success of DDB and the Breast Cancer Foundation is recognizing the appeal of breasts on the Internet and using it with good will rather than creating a scandal.