But why not? Men are both directly and indirectly affected by breast cancer. About 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and about 400 men a year die from it. It’s far more likely that men will be indirectly affected by breast cancer via their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and cousins. My mother was a breast cancer survivor, for instance.
Men have a major stake in breast cancer awareness and a cure, in other words. So where’s the pink ribbon cause marketing targeted at men?
Some pink ribbon shoes come in men’s sizes. The NFL offers pink merchandise in men’s sizes in conjunction with its partner the American Cancer Society. A man could certainly play tennis with a Wilson Hope Lite racquet or soccer with Puma Project Pink skill ball. There’s some pink ribbon jewelry that men could wear.
A man could buy sliced meats and cheeses from Boar’s Head… sold in the deli sections of many grocery stores in North America… which has done pink ribbon cause marketing in the past. And, of course, there’s soaps, candles, shampoos, lotions, and other potions festooned with pink ribbons… that men can and do use…but which aren’t marketed to the male gender, per say.
Here’s one that could: Tic Tacs.
The little mini breath mints in a clear plastic box, are sporting the pink ribbon this month. Tic Tac is donating $100,000 to CancerCare, a nonprofit that provides counseling, support groups, information, and the like to people with any type of cancer. The campaign is called Shake, Care, and Share. The flavors are a pink strawberry mixed with the regular a white cream flavor.
So imagine a TV ad with a handsome man, perhaps 30. He enters a building complex passing a sign that says ‘Breast Cancer Treatment Center’ and dashes up the stairs. Over this footage a voiceover says:
“This October, Tic Tac, the little breath mints with just 2 calories each, is donating $100,000 to CancerCare, the charity that helps thousands of Americans deal with cancer.”
The man walks in the waiting room, and scans it. He sees who he’s looking for, makes a quick wave and a smile, and pops a couple of Tic Tacs. He walks over and kisses a woman, who we only just now see. She’s beautiful, about 60, and has very short hair. She smiles back carefully.
“Hi mom,” he says, “you ready for another one?”
She nods bravely and they walk together into the next room, hand-in-hand.
Fade to black. Bring up logos.
Narrator: “Tic Tac. Shake, Care, and Share.”