Lung Association Draws True-Crime Inspiration Into New Campaign

Lock Up Lung Cancer, a new campaign launched by the American Lung Association’s women-focused Lung Force initiative, gave its new ads the feel of the true-crime shows popular with the campaign’s target audience.

Between the cable channel Investigation Discovery and Making a Murderer, true-crime shows are all the rage these days.

So it makes sense that marketing campaigns might be quick to borrow some of their cues. And the American Lung Association already has a key suspect in mind.

As a part of its Lung Force initiative, which targets its messaging at women, this week ALA launched a new campaign, Lock Up Lung Cancer, which highlights the true stories of women who have suffered from the disease, presenting it in a way that evokes the kinds of shows its target audience is known to watch.

As you can see in the clip above, that means testimonials filled with dark imagery, a script that suggests a dark force looming in the background, and a framing that emphasizes empowerment.

“My name is Nancy, and I’m here to stay,” one clip states. “Don’t try me again because I got you. You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

In comments to MM&M, ALA Chief Mission Officer Deb Brown said the comparison was not an accident, as it helps highlight the seriousness of the issue that the association wants to focus on.

“True crime is a genre that is not only popular, but can be very powerful,” Brown told the publication. “[Women] look to true crime content to know how to survive, to identify fellow female survivors, and they are intrigued by psychological content. We’re borrowing from the true crime genre and meeting them in space where they’re already hooked.”

Beyond the evocative clips, the association wants to draw attention to the broad reach of lung cancer, the deadliest form of cancer among women. ALA notes that a woman learns she has lung cancer every five minutes in the U.S., that just 18 percent of lung cancer cases among women are diagnosed early, and that more than 70,000 U.S. women will lose their life to the disease this year.

“Lung cancer is an issue that has been in the shadows for too long,” ALA National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer said in a news release. “We hope that by exposing the dangers of this disease, Americans will feel empowered to join LUNG FORCE and help us to defeat lung cancer. Because the truth is, anyone can get lung cancer.”

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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