The American Cancer Society (ACS) approached Cone with the task of helping them change the current marketplace conversation around cancer. ACS wanted to make a significant impact in the fight against cancer in an innovative and ownable way, while engaging a new generation of supporters to join and help lead the effort.

Cone and ACS began by reviewing hundreds of research reports and statistics, and conducting extensive interviews with health and industry experts. Through this process, two key statistics were uncovered:
• One in three women will get cancer in her lifetime
• About half of all cancer deaths could be prevented through healthy lifestyle behaviors like maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, not smoking and getting regular cancer screenings

It became immediately clear that there was a critical need for ACS to lead women in being proactive, instead of reactive when it came to fighting cancer. Cone and ACS used these insights to create Choose You, a dynamic national movement inspiring women to make healthy lifestyle choices to stay well and help prevent cancer. The challenge was not only to raise awareness, but to turn that awareness into preventative action. Cone and ACS decided there was both a need to further educate women about cancer prevention, as well as to provide women with the tools to make a long-term behavior change towards a healthier lifestyle.

Additionally, to fully activate the Choose You Movement, ACS needed to build new and unprecedented national relationships with a diverse group of major corporate partners. Cone worked with the Society to develop organization-wide guidelines and processes for selecting and acquiring appropriate corporate partners that could activate and demonstrate the importance of cancer prevention, while raising significant funds for the Society.


• Own the prevention space among women 25-54 through the concept of personal sustainability
• Deliver sustainable incremental revenue to support the Society’s mission

Target/audience analysis

Cone and ACS conducted extensive research and analysis to determine the appropriate audience for Choose You. This included analyzing consumer trends, conducting interviews with potential sponsors and fielding multiple rounds of consumer market research. Based on these findings, women 25 to 54 were identified as the optimal target audience for the Choose You message because these women are:
• The Chief Health Officers of their families - they make 69% of household health decisions, and cancer and health are top-of-mind
• Busy and stressed with careers and/or home lives that often take priority over their own needs
• Focused on caring for others (children, partners, parents, friends)
• Beginning to age and facing their own health issues and challenges
• Connected - averaging more than 170 contacts across e-mail, social networks and cell phone address books
• Making purchasing decisions– make 80% of household buying decisions and 22% shop every day


To further demonstrate the importance of prevention, a consumer survey of approximately 2,000 U.S. females was conducted and found that 95 percent of women feel the need to improve their health, yet approximately three out of five put others’ health before their own. This research reiterated the need for women to gain access to tools and resources that help them make their health a priority.

To develop the campaign elements, Cone worked closely with ACS to identify and integrate select existing ACS properties into Choose You and develop new assets for corporate sponsors to own and activate. Choose You campaign elements were designed to reach women where they are: online through and social media channels; at work through Choose You Day, an employee engagement and awareness day; in their communities at local events, including endurance races and golf events; and in stores through sponsor retail activation. Significant planning, training and communication efforts were undertaken reaching all levels of the ACS organization to develop, execute and celebrate the campaign.


• Create awareness that women can fight cancer through healthy behaviors
• Own the month of May for cancer prevention
• Provide valuable information and revolutionary support tools to help women build new healthy habits
• Build community of women who are changing the “care for everyone but me” paradigm
• Build specific plans to support Choose You revenue goals
• Engage corporate sponsors who have aligned goals to drive revenue and awareness


Choose You officially launched in May 2010 during two days of media and consumer events in New York City. Key elements included:
• Sponsor activation: In year one, national presenting sponsors Sprite Zero and Walgreens utilized out of home advertising -- including their Times Square billboards during launch -- and in-store, online and cause marketing promotions to drive awareness and revenue.
• Media campaign: Cone and ACS executed a robust media relations campaign, including national print and wire exclusives, a national broadcast media tour, B-roll packages, wire images, local/regional media outreach, SMT/RMT, ANR and PSA. Media relations activities are ongoing throughout the year and amplify during May, September/October and January.
• Celebrity ambassador: Ellen Pompeo, 40, mom and star of Grey’s Anatomy, served as the Choose You Celebrity Ambassador.
• Online elements: Cone developed a dynamic, multifaceted online presence centered around which includes a blog, a monthly e-newsletter, cause commerce store, event search tool and the Choose You Commitment, an innovative online tool that helps users set and reach their healthy living goals. Choose You also lives online through a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter handle.
• Consumer engagement/fundraising: Cone and ACS developed an innovative, online fundraising and behavior change tool called the Choose You Commitment. Choose You Commitments provide individuals with the accountability and support they need to eat right, get active, quit smoking, wear sunscreen and get health checks. Financial stakes are not required in Choose You Commitments, however they are encouraged. Research shows that individuals are more likely to succeed in their health related goal with money at stake.
• Employee engagement: ACS and Cone created Choose You Day a national celebration in May where people nationwide take time to put their health first. Companies nationwide participated, and employees were encouraged to take 30 minutes during the workday to focus on their personal health. Participants also were encouraged to donate $5 to ACS in exchange for a Choose You flower pin.
• Local events: ACS integrated Choose You communications with existing ACS events, including 86 DetermiNation endurance athletic events and 60 ACS women-only golf events.

Evaluation of success/measurement

Just seven months after launch, Choose You has met and exceeded campaign objectives:
• Own the prevention space among women 25-54 through the concept of personal sustainability
o Choose You registered users are significantly more likely to think that 50% or more of cancer-related deaths are preventable, versus the general population
o 70% of Choose You registered users say the program has increased their likelihood of reaching their health goals
o Two-thirds of Choose You registered users say the program has made ACS more relevant to their daily lives
o 267M media impressions; far exceeded Year One 230M impressions goal
o 600,000+ online impressions through, Twitter and Facebook
o 53,000+ registrants (CONFIDENTIAL)
o 40 companies and approximately 500,000 employees were encouraged to participate in the first ever Choose You Day on May 12, 2010
o Recognized as a finalist by PR News in their Nonprofit PR Campaign award
• Deliver sustainable incremental revenue
o Multi-pronged fundraising approach with online donation and fundraising opportunities, and local activation through Choose You Day and Choose You events.
o Corporate sponsorships with Sprite Zero and Walgreens (National Presenting Sponsors), Neutrogena (National Program Sponsor) and Blue Mountain Greetings, Exercise TV, Prime Outlets, Saks Fifth Avenue, Visa and Women on Course (National Supporting Partners) driving positive return on investment.