World’s first live advert airs from inside the human body

Cancer Research UK & C4 team up to create a unique view of a live colonoscopy

LONDON, UK – 16 January 2017.  In a global broadcasting first, Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 will air a live colonoscopy during an ad break on 18 January 2017.

The 90 second advert, titled ‘Live from the Inside’, will be shown at approximately 3.25pm and represents the first time this procedure has been performed live in an ad break. It will provide viewers with a unique opportunity to watch the removal of bowel polyps as it takes place. While most polyps don’t develop into cancer, some do, therefore removing them can help prevent bowel cancer developing.

Live footage will be seen from a camera which is linked to a flexible tube called a colonoscope. The advert will then show the removal of bowel polyps through the colonoscope.

The advert is part of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign by creative agency Anomaly. Launched on Boxing Day, the campaign shows the reality of day-to-day life for those affected by cancer, bringing together the real stories of patients and their loved ones, researchers and medical staff.

By broadcasting the procedure live, the charity aims to show the positive impact research has had on helping to beat cancer, highlighting it is only through investment in research that simpler and more effective tests and treatments have been developed. The advert will show that thanks to research, there are many things happening across the UK right now to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

The procedure will be performed and filmed at Cardiff and Vale University hospital by Doctor Sunil Dolwani. An expert in removing complex bowel polyps, Doctor Dolwani will explain what viewers can see throughout the live broadcast. Cancer Research UK will be streaming live on Facebook with a cancer nurse to answer viewers’ questions and the ad will also be available on Channel 4’s social media accounts.

The patient, Philip McSparron, will have the colonoscopy after tests done as part of the routine bowel cancer screening programme picked up hidden traces of blood in his poo. Further tests showed he had two bowel polyps, which will be removed during the procedure.

In the run up to the live event 10 second teasers will launch on 16 January on Channel 4. Viewers will have the chance to see a 60 second version of the ad on the 18 January at approximately 9.30pm in the second break of Channel 4 drama No Offence – currently attracting an average overnight audience of 1.9 million viewers.

The ad is the result of collaboration between 4 Sales, Cancer Research UK, media agency MediaCom and creative agency Anomaly who are working with Sassy Films, specialists in live broadcast production.

Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK said: “Broadcasting Philip’s colonoscopy live gives us the opportunity to show one of the many people across the UK who is benefiting from procedures that wouldn’t be possible without research. We want viewers to join us to experience the unique insight of seeing live inside the human body, and witness a procedure that can actually prevent cancer from developing.

“Half of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime so it’s important to break down barriers, encourage conversation, and show the progress that is being made in beating cancer. It’s our ambition to speed up progress so that within the next 20 years, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years. At Cancer Research UK, we rely on people’s generosity as we don’t receive any government funding for our life-saving research. We hope our live advert will show the impact research has made so far, and inspire people to see how their support can enable continued work to beat cancer.”

Danny Peace, agency principal from Channel 4 said: “This partnership with Cancer Research UK delivers a truly unique and highly engaging experience for viewers whilst conveying a very important message. We’re really excited to build upon 4 Sales’ legacy for industry leading ad break innovations.”

Oli Beale, executive creative director of Anomaly said: “I still can’t quite believe that this is happening. When we came up with the idea it seemed impossibly ambitious. In many ways it’s the purest expression of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ platform, which we launched last year. Hopefully it will remind people that there are little gains being made against cancer all day every day thanks to research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.”


For more details, please contact Anna or Mike at Sassy:          | +44 (0) 7814 971 960         | +44 (0) 208 905 2345    | +44 (0) 7838 182 837         | +44 (0) 208 905 2345


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