October is noted internationally as the month of Breast Cancer Awareness. It is a month where efforts are raised to create awareness, encourage women to have their breast examined and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education and treatment. The pink ribbon is the most used symbol of breast cancer awareness month and as such is sometimes termed as “Pinktober”. The main aim of Breast Cancer Awareness is to raise awareness, early detection, treatment and the need for a reliable cure. During the month of October, many media outlets educate the public on the importance of having the breast examined every single day individually or once a month by a health professional.
Advertising appeal used by media outlets and organisations play a major role in minimizing the risk of breast cancer. Advertising appeal refers to the strategies that are utilized in attracting customers usually advertising appeal shows evidence or provoke an emotional response that persuades the audience in purchasing the product. There are different types of advertising appeal and each may be used depending on the phenomenon. Some types of advertising appeal are the Brand Appeal, Bandwagon Appeal, Gender Appeal, Rational Appeal, Music Appeal and Fear Appeal. Brand appeal is for people who are brand-conscious and have an individual inclination towards a particular brand. The primary objective of the brand appeal is to motivate people to buy a product because the product has an excellent brand. It gives the feeling of differentiation to the customers. In creating awareness of Breast Cancer, some brands/organisations can leverage the loyalty of its customers by organising a breast screening exercise. Bandwagon Appeal involves making people feel that since everyone is buying the product, so they should too. The objective of bandwagon appeal is to ensure that the customer joins the bandwagon and starts using the product because everybody else is using it. It is known as persuasion by masses technique. Many organisations and media outlets use bandwagon appeal in which they show that the entire neighborhood is with a particular cause and why hasn’t the protagonist of the advertisement joined the bandwagon. They make the person feel left out by not joining the bandwagon and encourage the person to join the cause. Many outlets use this appeal to encourage all and sundry in creating awareness through Breast Cancer Awareness Health Walk.
Gender appeals are used to create an ideal man or woman. This appeal is geared towards increasing the masculinity or femininity of the user and it will make them more attractive, healthier or stronger, which is commonly associated with genders. Over the years, females have been more prone to breast cancer as compared to males, hence almost all campaign messages have females as its target audience. Healthcare providers encourage women to check their breasts and educate them on how to go about it. The use of rational appeal is used when people use the practicality and functionality of a product. These advertisements are focused on the features of the product and the cost of the product. The benefits associated with the product are also elaborated, associated with evidence. Some documentaries point out the dangers of not having the breast examined or the negative effect of not reporting early to the nearest hospital when a lump or any defect is developing whereas some documentaries educate the public on how early reporting of any lump on breast or defect saved them from any further misfortune. Music appeal is used to appeal to the taste of music and the sound of a person. The primary objective of music appeal is to encourage people to feel an emotion and associate their product after hearing a particular tune, song, or sound. Music plays a huge impact in catching the attention of an audience. The attention of breast cancer awareness month may be drawn through the lyrics of a song. Some may be influenced by the music played on any media platform to have their breast checked. The fear appeal shows that adverse outcomes can happen because a particular action is not taken. Advertisements often use fear as a motivator to promote change. With this technique, it is shown that if people do not have their breast examined at all when there is any change in the size of the breast or identification of any lump, it can result in death, which would lead to separation of the person from their loved ones.
Many organisations commonly use appeals to influence their target audience. It is also used so that people can support a cause. Appeals are customized for the target audience and they speak to the interests of individuals and in their words or interest.
In this month of Pinktober, Remember: Early Detection Saves Lives!
By: Gertrude Agyemang
Kumasi Technical University
Department of Marketing