Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Prostate Cancer UK and VCCP London’s awareness campaign encourages early diagnosis

LONDON, UK Prostate Cancer UK, the country’s largest men’s health charity, and internationally integrated communications agency VCCP London teamed up to launch a month-long campaign about cancer awareness, encouraging men to get diagnosed early.

One in eight men will get prostate cancer, and for black men, their risk is double. But, the earlier you find prostate cancer, the easier it is to treat, and an earlier diagnosis could save your life. That’s the vital message at the heart of a new integrated campaign launching this weekend from Prostate Cancer UK and VCCP London, with a call for thousands more men across the country to check their risk online.

The creative platform, “A future full of good things,” focuses on the future — the life full of really good things that lie ahead for men (and those who love them) if they check their risk and find out what they can choose to do about it, and forms part of Prostate Cancer UK’s wider campaign “Find it Earlier.”


This breaks the mold of traditional cancer awareness campaigns, which have focused on the negatives of not knowing your risk and all the scary things that can happen when you don’t, in order to capture men’s imagination and hope for the future they want to be around to see. This strategy allows for a humorous take, which runs through the campaign, to open up the conversation and lighten a serious issue for many.

Two films led the campaign: Layla and BBQ. In each film, viewers see a glimpse of what is still to come in each man’s future. In Layla, a man meets his granddaughter-to-be who promises him the chance to get to know her if he looks after himself, and BBQ shows that the dream grill and a future of summer family BBQs awaits a man on his 60th birthday.

Both films also worked to break down barriers that historically stopped men from checking their risk of prostate cancer. Layla and BBQ both openly challenge the worry for many men that a test for prostate cancer must mean a finger up the bum. In fact, the best test for prostate cancer is a simple blood test you can get free from your GP, and Prostate Cancer UK says you don’t need a finger up the bum to check for prostate cancer.

For both films, VCCP’s global content creation studio Girl&Bear worked with multi-award-winning Director Gary Freedman and MJZ, a commercial production company with acclaimed filmmakers. Gary is best known for introducing Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington and for introducing O2’s mascot, Bubl, with VCCP. He was chosen especially to bring to life the barbeque and the talking baby, which was achieved through advances in AI.

The films also feature the voice talents of Ralph Ineson as the BBQ, BAFTA-winning Top Boy star Jasmine Jobson as Layla, and Hugh Dennis as the brand voice.

The campaign will run across the UK with TV, social, and PR working to reach men at risk throughout the country. Dedicated activity such as radio advertising will also target men in specific nations and regions, especially Scotland, the Midlands, the North West, Wales, and the South West, areas that have higher rates of late-stage diagnosis. Tailored social advertising and PR will reach those most affected by health inequalities, beginning with Black men.

John Dickinson-Lilley, Director of Communications at Prostate Cancer UK, said, “We’re delighted that this campaign takes a fresh approach to raising awareness of the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer. We’re focusing on all the positives in a future where men with prostate cancer get an earlier diagnosis, and what that means for them and their loved ones. A talking BBQ and a grandchild from the future might not be what you expect from a charity raising awareness of cancer risk, but we’re driven to grab men’s attention across the UK with this vital message, and we’re starting at one of the biggest events in the summer of sport with a spot in the FA Cup Final.

“We want all men at risk, so that’s men over 50, Black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, to take just 30 seconds to check their risk online with Prostate Cancer UK’s Risk Checker. It’ll tell you if you’re at higher risk, and let you know what you can choose to do about it. With finding prostate cancer, earlier is always better, so it’s about time you checked your risk.”

Jim Thornton, Executive Creative Director at VCCP London, said, “As that wise young owl, Darren Bailes, VCCP London’s CCO, once observed: ‘We spend the first half of our lives trying to kill ourselves and the second half desperately trying to stay alive.’ This beautiful and beautifully realized idea neatly brings to life exactly why those of us of a certain age are so desperate to stay alive – the promise of grandchildren, fabulous barbeques, more Stoke games, and all the other wonderful things later life has to offer. And it deftly hammers home the message to all the men in our lives that it really is about time they checked their risk of prostate cancer.”

The campaign launched on May 25 with the film airing during the FA Cup Final and will run across TV, BVOD, Linear Radio, Digital Audio, and Social until June 30, with another top TV spot in the opening game of Euro 2024 between Scotland and Germany on 15th June. The campaign will run throughout Men’s Health Week and on Father’s Day, with Prostate Cancer UK working to drive a national conversation about the most common cancer in men at these key calendar moments. Media planning and buying will be led by the7stars.

VCCP London was appointed to work with Prostate Cancer UK on a project basis following a competitive pitch process. In addition to this campaign, VCCP London has been working on a new brand platform for Prostate Cancer UK to help drive organizational growth and brand trust. The brand platform It’s About Time has been incorporated into this risk awareness campaign.

Take Prostate Cancer UK’s award-winning 30-second risk checker now.


Campaign Title: A future full of good things
Client: Prostate Cancer UK
Advertising agency: VCCP
Executive Creative Director: Jim Thornton
Idea: George Lewis & Andy Parsons and Pip Bishop & Chris Hodgkiss
Writer and Art Director: Pip Bishop (Copywriter) & Chris Hodgkiss (Art Director)
Business Director: Olivia Packsha
Account Director: Nicole Mouawad
Group Planning Director: Andrew Perkins
Planning Director: Shannon Singh
Agency TV Producer: Carly Parris
Agency Creative Producer: Emma Winton

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Gary Freedman
Producer: Daniel Gay
Managing Director: Lindsay Turnham
Head of Production: Lucy Jones
Production Manager: Spike Elwood
Editor: Adam Spivey at The Assembly Rooms
Edit Producer: Phoebe Armstrong Beaver
Director of Photography: Barry Ackroyd
First Assistant Director: Benji Edwards
Key Grip: Sergio Bernuzzi
Gaffer: Matt Moffatt
Master Rigger: Gerry Higgins
Sound Recordist: Howie Nicol
Art Director: Kate Mcconnell
Set Decorator: Niamh Coulter
Wardrobe/Stylist: Rebecca Rich
Makeup Artist: Bianca Simone Scott

Post-Production Company: ETC
Post-Executive Producer: Vic Lovejoy
VFX Supervisor: Simon French
Colorist: Luke Morrison
Lead Compositor: Tane Welham
Compositors: Chris Fraser & Theo Mall
Co-ordinator: Ryley King

Audio Post-Production Company: King Lear
Sound Designer: Jack Sedgwick

Media Buying Agency: the7stars

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