Less Cancer, More Birthdays

“Imagine a world with more birthdays.” Everyone loves a birthday. Birthdays mean parties, presents, cake, maybe a few libations followed by the possible dancing, and just overall merriment. Birthdays celebrate life and represent another year in the world. It is pretty agreeable that birthdays insinuate a good thing and have an overall positive connotation. The American Cancer Society, which hosts Relay for Life-a walking event that is held across the nation and raises millions a year for cancer research and resources, has taken this phrase and integrated it into their marketing campaign to make people rally behind their cause. Now the phrase, “Imagine a world with more birthdays” has an even greater, even tear-jerking message. Imagine a world with less loved ones passing away from cancer and more people being able to be merry and on earth for another year.

As the designated “Official Sponsor of Birthdays” the American Cancer Society takes hold of the emotional appeal of connecting their cause to everyday life.  The American Cancer Society uses slogans such as “Happy Birthday is a victory song,”  “A world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays” and many others to very effectively draw people into raising funds for the events.  Connecting something scary, like the often terminal illness of cancer, to the happy annual event of celebrating a birthday, something that everyone has, is a very innovative way to put the American Cancer Society’s cause at a relatable level for all.  Everyone may not have cancer, but everyone has a birthday.

The fact that the American Cancer Society markets their events as a general celebration of life in general makes it appealing to those with cancer or those who have survived cancer because they are fighting and have fought to live and have more birthdays.  It also makes it appealing to those who haven’t had cancer because they get a chance to really celebrate, be grateful for their health, and the fact that they have been able to celebrate their birthdays without fear of them being shorthanded by cancer.  Finally, the message really digs emotionally when it comes to a person who has had a loved one pass away from cancer.  How amazing would it be to be able to celebrate one more birthday with that special person?


As a society, we understand that messages are being thrown every which way to try to get us to do something.  While the American Cancer Society could use a percentage or amount of money to help get people to support the cause of cancer prevention and awareness, instead they opt to display their organization as one that can bring an immense amount of hope to all audiences.  It’s safe to say the proof is in the pudding.  The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life had an astonishing 4 million participants and raises about 400 million dollars a year.  With a marketed identity of one that sponsors overall joy, the American Cancer Society has struck a chord causing a strong continued success that many charitable organizations long for.  Happy Birthday must be victory song after all.

– Alexandra HussCaroline MerrillAlyssa MorrelloLauren Van TrigtDann Williams

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7 thoughts on “Less Cancer, More Birthdays

  1. This is such a great blog and it warms my heart. You would never think that a simple term like “happy birthday” could be such a big deal for someone with cancer. The even that the American Cancer Society is doing seems like an amazing opportunity and a good idea. The title is catchy and inviting for people. Not only is this for people with cancer its just a celebration of life and how everyone should be grateful for what they have.

  2. This is some good thinking. It’s simple, yet if you look into it for more than three seconds you suddenly think “awwwwww.” If you break it down, it’s just saying “imagine one more thing folks could have if they do not die of cancer.” I wonder if they could say anything else? they could branch out this campagin to all sorts of people. I bet many would like to hear “More Superbowls,” or “More Skydiving,” stuff like that. They could probably hit every single person in the target area if they threw out more of these catchy slogans. More sex, more drag races, more ham and eggs, more cocktails, more video games, more painting… I like this. It’s making me think I definitely don’t want cancer more than I want a bunch of other things. Casey is right up there, too. We ought to be grateful for what we have, and we also could lend a hand to ensure that more people get to have what they want or need, too. This campagin shows that in the softest, most welcoming, friendly, innocent light possible. I love it.

    • This a very catchy and touching campaign used by the American Cancer Society. It appeals to the audiences emotions and the slogan “imagine a world with more birthdays” touches the hearts of many. Making it hard not to get involved.

  3. As someone who has lost her mother to cancer, this advertisement is especially moving for me. I would love to be able to celebrate another birthday. A birthday is a milestone. It’s a celebration of life. As you mentioned, I think it’s very effective the way the American Cancer Society makes their cause so relatable. Everyone has a birthday, which are meant to be joyous, celebratory occasions. To some people, birthdays are just another day, but for cancer patients and cancer survivors birthdays are momentous, and that’s what the American Cancer Society is saying in their commercial. Something as simple and commonplace as a birthday is a very important occasion because it represents something more than just another day, and I think it’s very smart of them to make people think about it that way in their advertisement.

  4. Whoever thought of this as a marketing slogan deserves a raise. It not only brings people in and appeals to their emotions from a marketing standpoint, it also does it to help commemorate the people who have died of cancer. No matter how much it markets, it still affects people, even without them realizing it. A simple notion of “more birthdays” really makes me think about the more birthdays I would have shared with family members lost in the battle. It reminds you to enjoy your life and dont waste it, because somebody else can’t do it anymore.

  5. In July of 2011 I lost my Grandpa to cancer and then in October 2011 my step-dad was diagnosed as well. I completely understand the ‘one more birthday’ slogan that they use. It is very effective to really give people the hope that they need during that stressful time.

  6. The fact that the American Cancer Society uses a slogan like “Imagine a world with more birthdays” is a brilliant technique by their marketing department. Cancer is such an emotional thing and when marketing something, bringing up emotions are one thing that won’t let you down. When people feel an emotion about an advertisement they remember it more, rather than if it hadn’t they could just walk right past it and never give it a thought. Though it seems like everyone at least knows someone who has suffered from cancer, some people may not have that emotional connection, however, everyone has had a birthday which makes it a great topic to relate everyone in society to.

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