LERMA Creates Campaign to Raise Awareness During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Campaign for Colon Cancer Coalition uses magical acts, radio PSAs, billboards and social posts to encourage colonoscopy as the “safe word” that saves lives


Dallas & Minneapolis, March 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, LERMA, a Dallas-based next-generation communications agency dedicated to creating disruptive and impactful content for multicultural America, is proud to announce the #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign. The awareness campaign, which began on March 1, uses magical acts, radio public service announcements (PSAs), billboards and social media to spread the word about the importance of people getting colonoscopies to save lives.

LERMA created the campaign for Minneapolis-based Colon Cancer Coalition in an effort to encourage preventive colon health. The campaign is centered around the word, “colonoscopy,” to increase awareness that the magical word can save lives.

“Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in America,” said Flor Leibaschoff, director, brand creative at LERMA, who lost her brother to colon cancer late last year. “The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign is a powerful way to highlight the importance of colonoscopies. As an ad agency, LERMA knows the power of raising awareness through joint efforts like the #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign, and we hope it will help to save lives.”

The campaign’s radio PSAs include individuals who are in challenging situations, and use the safe word, “colonoscopy” to get out of the bind. In one PSA, a secret agent is discovered during a stakeout and says “colonoscopy” to get rescued.

In partnership with Match.com, which owns OurTime, a dating app for mature men and women, the campaign features social media posts that seek to make #Colonoscopy a trending topic. Examples of the content include, “What’s your sign? Oh, I’m colonoscopy too.” or “What are you doing on Friday? Let’s colonoscopy.”

The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign is also showcased on a video billboard in Times Square (1500 Broadway), New York City. The 10-second message will be shared a minimum of three times each hour 22 hours a day throughout Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and into April.

Following the magic theme, the Academy of Magical Arts is collaborating on the noble cause by allowing two magicians, Norberto Jansenson and Hillel, to perform at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. The magicians attempt daring performances and replaced their usual “magical” word with “colonoscopy” as part of their acts. One example includes Hillel—Mr. Balloon ManTM, who, for the first time in his 30-year career, writes “colonoscopy,” instead of “help,” to be rescued from inside of a balloon with little air.

“Nine in 10 people survive colon cancer when the disease is detected early with a colonoscopy,” said Erin Peterson, communications director at the Colon Cancer Coalition. "Unfortunately one in three Americans of screening age have not been screened for colorectal cancer. The #SafeWordColonoscopy campaign is an exciting campaign for us. It’s cutting edge, eye catching, and humorous, helping people relax about this subject and making it easier for individuals uneasy about screening take the necessary steps to potentially save their life."

Colorectal cancer screening should begin for most average risk adults at age 45 and earlier for those with family history or other risk factors. In addition to a colonoscopy, many screening options are available including several tests that can be done in the privacy of your own home. Colonoscopy is the only screening test that can also prevent colorectal cancer by removing pre-cancerous lesions, or polyps, at the time of the test, preventing cancer. Colorectal cancer is extremely treatable when diagnosed in the earliest stages. Individuals of all ages experiencing symptoms should talk with their doctors about screening options right for them.

RO2 Media was a strong partner to the campaign, donating significant media exposure for the #SafeWordColonoscopy efforts.

For mor information about the campaign, or to find information about colorectal cancer symptoms and screening options, visit ColonCancerCoalition.org/SafeWord.

LERMA is a Next Generation communications agency that is at the forefront of business trends, technological advancement, and consumer’s ever-changing relationship to brands. For the past 10 years the agency has made clients and their brands win in the U.S. marketplace by uncovering untapped business opportunities, establishing meaningful connections, and developing creative that is loud and clear. That is, creating meaningful communications that disrupt convention and have a clear and relevant message for consumers. The agency’s work includes award-winning campaigns for Keurig, Dr Pepper, The Home Depot, BanCoppel, Ocean Spray and Southwest Airlines.

About Colon Cancer Coalition
The Colon Cancer Coalition is based in Minnesota and dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colorectal cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. In 2019, the Colon Cancer Coalition granted over $1 million dollars to local communities to build and sustain programs promoting early prevention, screening, as well as patient support efforts for those living with this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit ColonCancerCoalition.org.


Hillel—Mr. Balloon Man™, performs at Magic Castle in Los Angeles, replacing his usual safe word with "colonoscopy." Watch the video at https://coloncancercoalition.org/safeword Messages are running at 1500 Broadway in Times Square, New York City, now through April.

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