There’s really no way to make getting tested for colon cancer “fun.” But the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, a part of Goshen Health in Indiana, sure had a lot of fun encouraging people to do it. To educate their community on the importance of early detection, they created a clever campaign called, “Share a Stool,” designed to make an end run around people’s discomfort with testing.
The campaign included a colorful, informative website (shareastool.com) as well as guerrilla marketing techniques in surrounding communities. Brightly colored stools were placed in area bars and restaurants, and the experiential Goshen Health “Stool Bus” traveled to community events (including football tailgates at nearby University of Notre Dame) to educate people on the importance of being tested for colon cancer. The campaign also included radio spots that featured “poop trivia.”
All the campaign elements encouraged people to visit the Share a Stool website, where they could get more facts about colon cancer, and take an eight-question health risk assessment. Patients at higher risk were then eligible to get a free at-home Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) to screen for colon cancer.
Why We Love It
There’s nothing funny about cancer. But doom-and-gloom advertising about the dangers of the disease can often backfire, making people afraid to get tested at all. By getting everyone laughing, Goshen Health’s campaign calmed people’s fears long enough to help them get the facts and see the benefits of testing and early detection.
And of course, we love a campaign with great results. Here’s the bottom line on the “Share a Stool” campaign: It got the highest response rate in Goshen Health history, increasing visits to the cancer center for colorectal issues by 74%. More than 80% of those who received the free FIT kits took the test and returned them to the hospital for processing.
That’s not just a campaign. That’s a movement.
This is post #8 in our blog series: Just what the doctor ordered: 10 examples of creative healthcare advertising.