To be or nut to be


September is men’s cancer awareness month and the Canadian Cancer Society is putting the ball in young men’s court with a fun and informative social media campaign.

The Cancer Society already runs the nationwide Relay for Life and Daffodil Month, but his month organizers are trying something new.

“This is unique for us,” said Mathew Sepkowski, the organization’s national director of marketing. “It’s a new demographic.”

The campaign, formally launched on Sept. 9, is designed to get males 15 to 29 to check themselves for testicular cancer, as early detection is the key to surviving the disease.

Nutiquette: A dude’s guide to checking his nuts, is a short video created with proceeds from the Stanfield’s award-winning The Guy at Home in His Underwear campaign. Testicular cancer survivor Mark McIntyre spent 25 days at home in his underwear. He was filmed throughout that time and broadcast online. For every Facebook “like,” Stanfield donated $1 to the Cancer Society to further testicular cancer awareness efforts.

Pulling from the success of Stanfield’s campaign, the Cancer Society opted to rely on social media for its new campaign.

“The goal was to create something that was humorous to this target group without going over the edge,” said Sepkowski.

The Cancer Society’s research shows that, made aware, a young man is five times more likely to conduct a self-exam, possibly resulting in early detection. The video puts the self-exam ritual to song.

Kyle McDonagh, 26 Electrical Techniques at the Sheridan Skills Trade Center, watching video.

Kyle McDonagh, 26, Electrical Techniques at the Sheridan Skills Trade Center, watching video.

“It was an entertaining way to get the message out,” said Andrew Plaudis, 25, a second-year Sheridan College social work student.

Although this is a targeted and smaller project than the regular national campaigns, the video is still expected to get more than 40,000 views on YouTube between the French and English version.

“So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Sepkowski. “Comments on YouTube have been encouraging. People really seem to like it.”

Kyle McDonagh, 26, a student in Electrical Techniques at the Skills Training Centre, watched the video.

“I thought it was really funny. It’s not something that you think about every day, so it’s good to be reminded,” he said.