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SDG3 target 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.


increase in screenings in one centre in Jeddah alone

Where: Saudi Arabia

The challenge:  

Breast cancer affects one in seven women worldwide and to increase chances of survival it’s vital to get an early diagnosis. But in Saudi Arabia, talking about such issues is an ingrained social taboo, let alone taking steps to go to a clinic - at the time women were not allowed even to drive alone. Pfizer wanted to change this perception in Saudi Arabia and empower women to go for preventive check-ups. 

The execution:  

We developed a social awareness campaign to help women overcome the stigma of talking about this topic and to encourage them to go for a check-up. We had to carefully evaluate content, channels and timing in our approach to this culturally sensitive topic. 

Research shows that Saudi women prefer guidance and advice to come from their loved ones, so we aimed to recruit friends and family to the cause. We created a wide-ranging social awareness video campaign in partnership with the International Breast Cancer Conference, the Saudi Oncology Society and the Ministry of National Guard and Health Affairs. 

The videos featured family and friends in recognisable situations accompanied by the simple, emotional, campaign message ‘Choose life, just check!’. The videos were posted on YouTube and Instagram and targeted to women over 18. Those who had previously engaged on Just Check videos were retargeted with the message.  

The results: 

The campaign was an astonishing success with one million complete views recorded on YouTube alone with a view rate of 22.7% in the first few months. The videos sparked a debate amongst women and allowed discussion around breast cancer to come out into the open.  

The number of breast cancer screenings rose from 3000 to 28,000 at one Jedda healthcare centre in just one year. 

For a relatively small investment Pfizer’s campaign secured a lasting impact in breast cancer prevention so the importance of check ups and screenings were better understood and accepted. 

Check out more inspiring examples of our work on SDG3.