When Life Gives You Lemons…a Lesson in Effective Communications

Racepoint Global

12 lemons. One egg box. Eight million people reached in three Facebook posts. The #knowyourlemons campaign, which uses lemons to illustrate symptoms of breast cancer, has become one of the widest shared images on social media ever, providing a case study into effective communications and integrated marketing.

With someone told “you have breast cancer” every 19 seconds, you would think awareness of the symptoms of the disease is already widespread.

Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont, creator of the campaign and founder of Worldwide Breast Cancer, disagrees. In crafting the #knowyourlemons campaign, she set out to make one crucial distinction from what has been done before: bridge the gap between awareness of breast cancer and education of the signs of the disease.

Where previous campaigns often concentrated on raising awareness of the disease, some fell short of actually informing people about the symptoms of the cancer beyond “a lump”. The beauty of the #knowyourlemons campaign is that it is both eye-catching and informative; within seconds of looking at the image of the 12 lemons, each displaying a symptom of the disease, a person knows how to identify the signs of cancer.

The campaign compliments the successful campaigns that have come before, building on the awareness already generated to spread this life saving message. Indeed, the money raised from such campaigns and charities has funded ground breaking research and supported many men and women through their cancer journey. In the UK today, nearly 4 out of 5 women (78%) survive a breast cancer diagnosis. A statistic that is testament to the progress that is being made  in the fight against the disease.

The image has since been translated into eight languages, meeting its aim of educating people across the world about the symptoms of breast cancer. The campaign has exceled in its simplicity, using easily understood ideas and imagery to have a global reach.

Furthermore, the campaign, now established online, in its quest to raise lifesaving awareness of breast cancer to all of the 7 billion men and women in the world, is now expanding offline. Launching on Friday 3rd February, the day before World Cancer Day, the #knowyourlemons campaign is challenging everyone who learns about a symptom, to donate a £1 per symptom. Each £1 raised will go towards printing out the lemons, translating them into different languages and spreading them globally.

Targeted, easily digested, international and soon to be interactive… not bad for a dozen lemons.

If you are interested in being part of the campaign, donations can be made on the charity’s website

Check out how we have participated here!