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Cancer Research UK targets the overwhelmed with test mailer

LONDON – Cancer Research UK is launching a direct mail campaign through WWAV Rapp Collins that puts to the test research that the majority people who donate to cancer charities are 'overwhelmed' by the disease.

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The research, completed in 2004 by WWAV's planning arm Zalpha, revealed four categories when discussing fears and motivations about cancer: overwhelmed, ostrich, fatalists and realists.

The majority of respondents fell into the overwhelmed category. With this insight in mind, WWAV created a mailer that offers a gentle message in an empathetic manner.

The outer is plain, carrying only the text, "A little reminder" with the enclosed letter reading "A little reminder -- you're helping to save precious lives".

The letter begins: "I know it can be hard to read about other people's experiences of cancer. Perhaps even seeing the word 'cancer' may make you turn away. It can bring back memories we'd rather forget. So today I'd like to remind you of just one thing -- you are helping us to beat cancer."

The letter asks if the recipient could give "a little more" to help the charity in its work and goes on to explain that donations are helping the charity make progress towards a future where "no family is devastated by cancer". 
The mailer also encloses a card for recipients to keep. White text picked out across a blue sky dotted by clouds reads, "Remember.  I'll remember today. And look forward to tomorrow. Who knows what the new day may bring? A little sunshine. A little hope."

Abi Ellis, creative group head, WWAV Rapp Collins London, said the research findings gave the charity the freedom to change the way CRUK talked to its supporters.

"We have replaced science with sensitivity, gently urging the recipient to give more to a cause they would rather not be reminded of," she said.

Nick Georgiadis of CRUK, said "If you are an overwhelmed, we may not know exactly where you live, but we can devise a message that resonates with you, and ensure that you are likely to receive it."

CRUK said if the first campaign proves successful future campaigns will be devised to reach different typologies.

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