Leukaemia Foundation tackles lagging interest in World’s Greatest Shave with brand overhaul

World's Greatest Shave 'That's Bloody Beautiful' campaign via Jack Nimble for Leukaemia Foundation - Hero Image

Adam Wise: “There’s a lot of emotion built into the campaign.”

The Leukaemia Foundation is on a mission to address the waning interest in its annual peer-to-peer fundraiser, The World’s Greatest Shave.

Now in its 25th year, the charity aims to overcome declining awareness and restore brand love for the initiative that funds blood cancer research and support.

The Leukaemia Foundation appointed agency and production company Jack Nimble to undertake a complete brand overhaul, signalling its first departure from the key visuals and long-standing chins-characters campaign, which it has run since 2007. 

Leukaemia Foundation general manager of fundraising and growth, Charlotte Webb, told Mediaweek that The World’s Greatest Shave had been experiencing “a suite of metrics that were in decline, not just one.”

Following two thorough market research and sentiment studies and a comprehensive product development phase as part of the brand revamp, Webb’s team landed on two pivotal insights that contributed to the fall in revenue and engagement.

Specifically, perceived barriers to entry, especially among female audiences, and the fact that the chin-characters had lost their resonance with audiences.

Said Webb, “In the world of mass-participation fundraising, and in particular, peer-to-peer campaigns worldwide… the vast majority of participation is female.

“Women drive a lot of fundraising action, and shaving their head is a very big barrier. 

“We got a really key insight there, in that by foregrounding shaving and ignoring the options to cut and colour, we were doing ourselves out of an audience.”

Webb continued, “The other insight that came through loud and clear was that whilst those that know the chins love the chins, they’re quite divisive. And actually, for a lot of people, they were no longer interesting. 

“People wanted to see a human element in that they wanted to see people that they could relate to.”


As she reflected on her prior work experience at Race for Life in the UK, Webb recalled her boss advising, “You have to strike a balance between the ‘boo hoo’ and ‘woo hoo.’’”

Said Webb, “What has happened with The Shave [campaign] is that the chins had gotten increasingly on the side of being a little bit silly.”

Jack Nimble co-founder and executive creative director Adam Wise, stated to Mediaweek that at the time Jack Nimble secured the Greatest Shave pitch, not only had the chin characters lost traction in the market, but in retrospect, they bore more significant pain points.

“You would see chins; you would know it’s for The World’s Greatest Shave, but people didn’t know it was for leukaemia. Some people don’t even know that leukaemia is a form of blood cancer.

“It didn’t really speak to the joy, fear and the connection and the solidarity of shaving and that kind of disconnected the activity from the cause.”

To overcome its brand challenges, The Leukaemia Foundation tasked Jack Nimble with a creative brief to fulfil the following:

“Keep the tone uplifting, not silly… They wanted a really unique visual style; they wanted a simple, memorable, human-centred creative.

“Then also to align the campaign under the Leukaemia Foundation brand.”

The new brand platform, ‘That’s Bloody Beautiful’, connects these missing dots. 

Wise characterised the campaign’s insight as meeting the sought-after “simple, human-centred creative” in a way that celebrates the beauty of doing something for others while capturing something that “feels very Australian.” 

“There’s a lot of emotion built into the campaign,” said Wise.

“It’s one of the proudest wins that I’ve experienced, and the team that works on are just so energised by and so close to it, and poured everything into it.” 

He continued, “I think hopefully you can see that in the work, even just down to our art director [Divya Abe] who worked on it. The splice green that’s part of the branding – that’s her favourite colour.”

The overhaul was officially announced earlier this week as Australia gears up for The World’s Greatest Shave events taking place over February and March. 

This first iteration of ‘That’s Bloody Beautiful’ includes an integrated campaign with a suite of TVCs, BVOD, out-of-home, social content, user-generated content, website, and fundraising merchandise.

Beyond the launch of ‘That’s Bloody Beautiful’ this year, Webb said, “it’s also one of my ambitions for this creative platform to achieve more than just shaping the greatest moments to come.”

She added, “The concept of being ‘Bloody Beautiful’ can transcend many different things.”

See also:
OMD Australia raises over $40,000 by hosting World’s Greatest Shave for Leukaemia Foundation
Sparro is acquired by British agency Brainlabs

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