Early results from our Sledgehammer Fund have revealed that our TV and press adverts were remembered by nearly half of UK adults, significantly increasing awareness of our cause and the disease. The aim of the campaign, which was fronted by comedian Bill Bailey and ran from 1 January to 31 March 2013, was to wake up the nation to the facts about prostate cancer and let everyone know that we are here.
Before the campaign, research showed that only seven per cent of adults had been aware of us (The Prostate Cancer Charity as was). Following the campaign that figure has risen to 36 per cent. And it seems the adverts prompted many of the men and women we reached to take action. The number of people visiting our website doubled, with over 130,000 more visitors finding out about the disease and about us.
Our Specialist Nurses helped around 30 per cent more callers than in the same three months the previous year. And there was a huge increase in calls about signs and symptoms, suggesting that the campaign has encouraged men to think about their prostate health and do something about it.
The amount of people ordering our information literature on prostate cancer went up as well: downloads of information literature from our website rose by 59 per cent - an increase of 1,000. And the number of orders placed by health professionals for literature to give to their patients rose by 1,000. That's many, many more men and women who we have armed with essential facts about prostate cancer.
The campaign also aimed to raise funds to help us crack prostate cancer once and for all. One of the ways we boosted donations was with our Nutcracker Suite; celebrities joined our fantastic army of volunteers and supporters to smash walnuts live on webcam for everyone who donated £5 or more by text or online. So far the total raised directly during the campaign stands at £155,000, with donations still coming in. And the knock-on effect of the advertising has started opening more doors for our Fundraising team.
Chief Executive, Owen Sharp said: "Men and women living in the UK need to know the facts about prostate cancer. The Sledgehammer Fund, Prostate Cancer UK's first major mass media campaign, has raised a significant amount of money, increased awareness of this horrific disease, and announced our intent to get men's health back on the agenda. Working together, we can and will help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. Thank you to everyone who got behind the campaign and supported us."