Among the plethora of campaigns tied in to fighting breast cancer, it’s easy to lose sight of the people at the heart of the matter: the breast cancer survivors. To distinguish its Warriors in Pink campaign, which sells clothing online to raise funds for four nonprofits, from other “pink” campaigns, Ford Motor Co. made 11 survivors the focal point of its 2012 campaign.
The promotion actually began in late 2011, when Ford and agency Team Detroit invited survivors to send in a personal account of their experience with the disease. The nine women and two men were selected as Models of Courage, program ambassadors who shared their stories in a variety of media: on CBS’s The Talk, which also supported a sweepstake in which one breast cancer survivor won a free Ford Escape; in a 14-minute documentary and short vignettes on each of the 11 survivors; on fordcares.com and social media; and at a variety of events, such as the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, the Great Midwest Balloon Festival in Kansas City, The Houston Art Car Parade, and scores more grass-roots gatherings. A Ford vehicle, adorned with Warriors in Pink signage, drove the Models of Courage to many of the events, where they were able to speak with survivors, people battling the disease, and supporters in a way impossible by anyone without first-hand experience with cancer.
The year-long campaign garnered nearly 161.7 million media impressions, more than double the 65 million generated by the 2011 Warriors in Pink campaign. The documentary received nearly 5,500 views on YouTube and almost 23,000 Facebook likes; more than 58,000 viewers registered for the sweepstakes. And more than $1.6 million worth of Warriors in Pink apparel was sold, the net proceeds of which—more than $842,000—went directly to Ford’s four charity partners: Susan G. Komen, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, The Pink Fund, and Young Survival Coalition.