Channel 4 says 'in your face cancer' with Stand Up To Cancer advertising campaign

Channel 4’s ‘killer night of fundraising’ Stand Up To Cancer is set to return with an advertising campaign promoting the event debuting tonight (Friday 5 September) during The Last Leg on Channel 4 before hitting cinema screens nationwide.

The brainchild of 4Creative, the film’s subject matter represents the major turning point reached in the fight against the disease, with as many people now surviving cancer as dying from it.

“We wanted to create something that would empower people to stand up and throw cash in cancer’s face. We did this by literally giving cancer a face. An unpleasant, pathetic, terrified and destroyable face,” explained John Allison and Chris Bovill, heads of 4Creative. “Then what better way to show the epic destruction of cancer than by utilising all the tropes the modern disaster has to offer. In your face cancer.”

The two-minute long animation has been brought to life by Nexus directors Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, with Factory Studios overseeing sound design. The film pays homage to disaster movies with the genre turned on its head slightly as the world that’s caught in the grip of a lethal outbreak belongs to cancer, with humans causing the chaos.

Clair Rowney, director of Stand Up To Cancer, a partnership between Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK, said: “The Stand Up To Cancer animation truly captures the energy of this year’s campaign and shows how our fight against cancer is at a turning point. Stand Up To Cancer is an opportunity for the entire UK to come together to accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save lives. As the animation makes clear, we are making huge progress and winning the fight but there’s still so much more we need to do.

“More people are surviving cancer today than ever before, and that’s down to research. This year we hope that the nation will support Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 by getting involved and raising money for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.  We want the nation to help us defiantly tell cancer, It’s Payback Time”.

Nexus directors Smith and Foulkes added that the original brief was to “turn the table on cancer” and that the main challenge was “how to visualise cancer cells”. They commented: “We wanted to steer away from the obvious route of showing cells as a bunch of grotesque alien germs, but we were also acutely aware of not making them too human or cute. We also had to find a way to illustrate the new therapies, drugs and scientific breakthroughs that are fighting cancer. We wanted their arrival to be initially magical and mysterious. So we used a glowing blue orb, an unexplained light descending upon a shadowy world.”

In addition to running in cinemas the advert will also be broadcast across more than a hundred commercial channels on Sunday night including ITV, UKTV and Sky’s network of channels.

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