Knowing how to reach your audience and how to attract them can determine the success of your campaign. Know what you should post, and what can offend them. Sometimes a friendly and natural picture to interpret can alleviate the hurdles of taboos.

The perfect example of how impactful and effective a picture can be over words is the Worldwide Breast Cancer charity’s Know Your Lemons campaign.

How did #KnowYourLemons Campaign Start?

Millions of dollars are spent every year on breast cancer awareness. However, less than 50% of women understand what a cancerous lump feels like. The awareness is still low because talking about breasts is considered as taboo even in the occidental countries. The Worldwide Breast Cancer founder Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont said that cancer is associated with death, and breasts are often associated with sex. A complicated topic to handle without facing censorship.
Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont, who is originally a designer, has lost her two grandmothers because of breast cancer. So she wanted to know how to protect herself against breast cancer, she read a lot about the disease.

As a designer, Corrine thought that she could make it easier for people to understand breast cancer. Her objective was to raise awareness in an interesting and informative way, and she wanted to eliminate the text that is quickly forgotten.

She started to take pictures of objects to replace the breast: like melons, jugs…and then finally discovered a lemon. It has a nipple, and the interior looks similar to breast anatomy. And after spending time at an imaging center, she discovered a lump was hard like a lemon seed.

In 2003, she designed a post of breast cancer symptoms represented by a dozen lemons in an egg carton, to illustrate the 12 key changes in breasts that may indicate breast cancer. The campaign had a popular post and also educational infographics on administering self-exams. The campaign was named #Knowyourlemons.

Signs of breast cancer explained, using lemons
Signs of breast cancer explained, using lemons

Results of #KnowYourLemons Campaign

The lemon post went viral until 2017 when a breast cancer patient wanted to share with friends on Facebook a picture explaining what her breast cancer looked like, so she used a picture of lemons from the #KnowYourLemons campaign.

This is how the campaign went viral in January 2017.

Three posts about the campaign were able to be shared 82,000 times, and nearly 8 million people saw the 12 signs of breast cancer. There was also heavy traffic to the Worldwide Breast Cancer’s website, which led the charity website to crash. The lighthearted campaign gave people a platform to share their thoughts and stories and helped Worldwide Breast Cancer exceed its fundraising target by 317%.

The campaign was available in 16 languages, which helped the campaign to reach over 166 MILLION people around the world after just three weeks.

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