The Institute of Cancer Research

Taking a stanza

When it comes to big ideas, sometimes you need to think small, very small. Say, 20mm long by 10mm wide.

Our latest creative campaign for the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) generated huge headlines as well as a very healthy amount of chatter on social media.

In a nutshell (or rather, pill capsule) we commissioned Poet Laureate Simon Armitage to pen an original poem entitled “Finishing It” all about the ICR’s precision science that will soon finish cancer. The 51-word poem was then engraved onto a replica anti-cancer pill by micro-artist Graham Short’s steady hand.

The idea is our second campaign to raise awareness of the ICR’s fundraising appeal, which is looking to raise £14m to complete a world leading cancer drug discovery building at the ICR in Sutton.

With such a simple idea, coupled with striking content (in particular our macro-shots showing the engraved pill and poignant video of Simon reciting the poem at the ICR), the media responded in such a way that could otherwise have only been prescribed: over 70 pieces of coverage including 13 nationals. Highlights included: The Times (x3), The Daily Telegraph (half page), News, Daily Mail (a full page dominated by our image of the engraved pill), Mail Online (and again here), The Guardian (a lovely print piece in the weekend Review), The Guardian online and The Independent – not to mention some lovely pieces in Campaign and PR Week.