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Macmillan Brave the Shave 2019 Campaign


Macmillan Cancer Support

Be someone extraordinary for everyone living with cancer.

After working with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a successful Brave the Shave campaign in 2018, we were asked to devise a new campaign for 2019. The focus of the previous year had been the motivations of the brave shavers; the people that they were doing this remarkable act for.

For 2019, however, we wanted to take a look at the brave shavers themselves and what it is about them that makes them undertake such a unique ask.

Since its 2015 launch, Brave the Shave has raised £22.7 million for Macmillan Cancer Support – helping those living with cancer when they need it the most. It was our job to take this already popular and successful ask and create a campaign that got people feeling inspired and wondering whether they have what it takes to pick up the clippers themselves.

The Heartbeat

Be someone extraordinary

The campaign we created focuses on the shaver themselves, celebrating what it is about them that drives them to take on this challenge and raise an amazing amount of money.We directly address the potential shavers through uplifting call-to-action messaging, asking the audience to be someone extraordinary; someone that goes the extra mile; someone that braves the shave.

This year, our campaign spans across print to digital, TV to radio, always heroing the incredible people that take part.

Our visuals combine these punchy headlines with eye-catching photography of the intense moment the clippers first ‘touch down’ on the brave shaver’s head, creating a campaign that conveys the buzz of event itself.

Play Video

Film and photography

After creating a successful look-and-feel for the Brave the Shave campaign in 2018, we wanted to keep capturing real life shaves from around the country. Our priority was authenticity. We were there to observe and capture real moments and real emotion, rather than create it.

The hero image for this year’s campaign is the ‘touch down’ moment. During this first moment, peoples’ faces perfectly sum up what makes Brave the Shave so special: the nerves and the unknown that people brave to raise money for Macmillan.

This powerful moment opened our TV advert as well as leading our print campaign.

To complement these, our video and photoshoots capture the spectators, the personal touches which make each shave unique and the moments of togetherness that Brave the Shave brings about.



Reaching a wider audience

Digital and social remains one of the most important ways that Macmillan can reach out and connect with potential brave shavers.

This year our messaging reached across Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat and ranged from montage videos to storytelling carousels.

Across every element, we aimed to inspire, uplift and motivate, and where possible, we used animated messaging to create movement and intrigue.


Welcome Pack

Time to get started

For our welcome pack refresh, we wanted to simplify the materials that arrived on brave shavers’ doorsteps. To do this, we created an A4 fold-out Guide that held everything together and worked as an introduction to the shave process.

We kept the look-and-feel from last year – keeping the pack universal and personal by leading with illustrations rather than photography, and employing bold colours and large typography to create a welcome pack that is truly welcoming.


Thanking pack

For 2019 we updated the thanking pack with punchy language to drive home the extraordinary thing that brave shavers have done, all to help everyone living with cancer.

After positive feedback, we stuck with a handwritten message from someone living with cancer as well as a personalised certificate and an enamel badge to be worn with pride.


The Results

We created a campaign that celebrates the amazing people that put their locks on the line to raise money for an incredible cause, whilst remaining sensitive to the often heartfelt reasons that people choose to take part.

As early as the summer 2019, sign ups were up 12% on last year, and the ask was stronger than ever, raising vital funds to help everyone living with cancer.

The facts and figures






Money raised

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