The infamous I Love Boobies bracelets from the Keep-A-Breast Foundation are one of the great success stories in branded cause marketing. Started last year as a way to engage teens in early detection and prevention, they owe their success to the speed at which several high school principals and boards banned them. (It should be noted that a few other others were more open-minded.)
Springville Grade 9 student Jamie Crowley: “My grandma had breast cancer. “It’s good that all these people are buying these. It’s more money towards breast cancer and more people can get cured… Most of us are mature enough to handle it. We’re not wearing them because they say ‘boobies’ on them. We’re wearing them because they’re for breast cancer.” (Via CBC)
There is really no better endorsement of a youth-oriented campaign than pissed-off authority. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving—just last week, in Kelwona BC’s School District 23, Superintendent Hugh Gloster made national Canadian news for trying to keep the bracelets out of Springvalley Middle School. I have a set of the bracelets myself, and am starting to notice them everywhere—from young cashiers at stores to Justin Bieber.
Now Keep-A-Breast is giving students a place to wear their bracelets where The Man can’t get them, on their social media profiles. If any cause was asking to be Twibboned, it was this one.
Some might consider the campaign silly, or even offensive. But I think it has lessons to teach us all about understanding youth activism. For every boy who wears the bracelet to get attention, there might be another kid who genuinely wants to feel involved in a cause that has touched them personally. They will be the ones who get involved in the prevention movement through KAB events, and will hopefully inspire their friends as well.
And that’s why I’m with them.