"What's Up Your Butt?"
Humor is a great way to break the ice in almost any uncomfortable situation. If delivered effectively, it can lead to laughter…and laughter just makes everything better and more bearable (at least it does in my world). Here are a few great examples of this tactic:
1) Public service video by Rose Hausmann (an amazing survivor), "It's Easy" @ http://www.friendsofrose.org/roses_video.html
2) Ms. Butt Meddler's hilarious video, "Lookin' Up My Back Door" @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmKnf7QhuSo
3) The attention-grabbing "Cover Your Butt" T-shirts that Fight Colorectal Cancer advocates wore around D.C. for 2010's Call On Congress:
Many of you have probably heard about Gotcancer.org’s recent add campaign that has had mixed reviews, and whose billboards have actually been banned in some cities. The controversial ads feature an individual wearing a cross between a pained and quizzical expression next to the phrase: “What’s up your butt?”
Party poopers say it is in “poor taste.” Me? I think it is awesomely clever. It at once makes me giggle and wonder what the ad is referring to…it makes me want to go home and google it to find out what they think might be up my butt exactly.
As a hospital nurse with a warped sense of humor, my immediate thoughts upon seeing the images of the billboards went to strange objects that patients have swallowed or placed up their own butts (my favorite was one of those super tiny library pencils -- don’t ask me why). Then I thought maybe it could be an ad for some new laxative that is proven to effectively treat constipation or, perhaps, anal-retentive natures. My love of the “X-Files” led my wandering mind down the path of alien abductions and those uncomfortable probes they use…
The colorectal cancer advocate in me, however, knew exactly what the billboard was asking, and thought it was brilliant. Maybe there could be a subtler or “classier” way to discuss colorectal cancer, but cancer is never respectful in its introductions to our bodies, so why do we have to be? Besides, any discussion on this topic is good; any publicity about colon cancer and its prevention is wonderful. Am I right?!
What are your thoughts? What ideas do you have to creatively educate the public about colorectal cancer? What would be a better way to grab people’s attention without them feeling the need to instinctively clench their butt cheeks and run the other way? How do we open the door to the "back door"?