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American Cancer Society Launches Major Brand Revitalization Effort to Help Broaden Consumer Understanding and Connections
Date:4/21/2009

Introducing "The Official Sponsor Of Birthdays(TM)"

ATLANTA, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society is launching a major brand revitalization effort focused on helping people better connect with the organization and understand all it has to offer to defeat cancer. Although the American Cancer Society is the most highly recognized health charity brand in the world, Society-conducted research has shown that the public has little understanding about all the organization specifically does.

"We're proud that we have contributed to a 15 percent decrease in the cancer death rate since the 1990's. In recent years, nearly 100,000 more people are celebrating birthdays annually. Eleven million survivors in the U.S. will have a birthday this year and that's something to celebrate," said Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, M.P.H, Dr.P.H., national volunteer president, American Cancer Society. "But if we can help consumers understand all of the ways we save lives from cancer, we can do more. If we can help more people take steps to prevent cancer and detect it early, if we can increase the number of patients we serve, if we can accelerate our cancer research efforts and engage more advocates in the fight, we believe we can create a world with countless more birthdays."

"The Official Sponsor Of Birthdays" campaign asks its audience to imagine a world with more birthdays and highlights all of the ways the organization saves lives -- by helping people stay well through taking steps to prevent cancer or detect it early; helping people get well by guiding them through every step of the cancer experience; by finding cures through funding and conducting groundbreaking research; and by fighting back by encouraging lawmakers to do their part to defeat cancer and by rallying communities to join the fight.

In the midst of an economic recession, with charities facing declining contributions and increased demand for services, it has never been more critical for the American Cancer Society to connect with supporters so they know how their financial and volunteer contributions are making a difference. With demand for cancer support services running nearly 20 percent above levels of a year ago, making the connection is particularly vital for the Society as it heads into its key fundraising season. More than 5,000 American Cancer Society Relay For Life(R) events -- the organization's signature fundraising activity -- are slated to take place across the country this year, with many of them occurring this spring.

"The American Cancer Society's community presence is often best felt through Relay For Life, the largest global grassroots movement and cancer fundraiser that involves more than 3.5 million participants celebrating people who have battled cancer, remembering loved ones lost, and fighting back to end a disease that has taken too much," Fontham added. "The money raised through Relay has enabled the American Cancer Society to play a role in nearly every major cancer breakthrough in recent history. As we celebrate the 25th birthday of Relay For Life this year, it's critical now more than ever that Relay participants understand the role they play in creating a world with more birthdays."

The brand revitalization effort includes a major national advertising campaign that launches on April 21 on television programs, including "Good Morning America," the "Today" show, "20/20," "60 Minutes," "The View," "CSI," "Amazing Race," "Dancing with the Stars," "Extreme Makeover Home Edition," and on cable channels including USA Network, Discovery Health, Hallmark, TLC, HLN and SoapNet; in print publications including Better Homes & Gardens, O-The Oprah Magazine, Health, Family Circle, Cooking Light, Woman's Day, Ladies' Home Journal, Prevention and Essence; and with a large online presence, including ads on WebMD, AOL, Federated Media blogs, epicurious, Yahoo! and Evite.

The American Cancer Society will maintain its historic advertising funding levels of less than two percent of overall revenues for this new effort. The new campaign invites the public to visit morebirthdays.com to join the movement to create a world with more birthdays. Visitors can declare the American Cancer Society the official sponsor of their birthday, spread the word via a Facebook application, visit a birthdays blog and send e-cards to friends and family. The campaign will also feature a significant public relations component.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Did You Know?

The American Cancer Society is the only cancer fighting organization in the U.S. with a presence in every community:

  • Nearly one million people annually call the American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and approximately 23 million people visit cancer.org annually for information and support.
  • American Cancer Society patient navigators in 128 hospitals across the country assisted more than 45,000 patients through their cancer experience last year.
  • The 28 American Cancer Society Hope Lodge(R) locations offer free lodging near cancer treatment centers, saving patients tens of millions of dollars in lodging costs.
  • Dedicated volunteers drive cancer patients to treatment and offer hope and comfort to those who are newly diagnosed.


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SOURCE The American Cancer Society
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