We’re used to seeing sexualized approaches to breast cancer and testicular cancer. This one, for the Singapore Cancer Society, uses the famous Marilyn Monroe “upskirt” scene from the movie The Seven Year Itch to promote regular pap smears.
While the ad has a playful tone, the appropriateness of making people think of voyeurism in a discussion about cancer is as questionable in Singapore as it is in the West.
The Straits Times conducted a poll with its readers, and these are the current results:
The clichéd “sex sells” formula will probably be with cause marketing for some time, despite mounting criticism, simply because it gets attention and allows ad agencies to do “feel good” ads that still feel sexy and cool:
Cancer is not sexy. But if you want to be cynical about it, you could always say that an ounce of inappropriate prevention advertising is worth a pound of cure. That is, if it works.
What do you think?