Fields of green with patches of pink: joint campaign Trioworld and Pink Ribbon continues to be a success.
What do you think of when you see pink? In an unexpected place like a yellow or green field in the countryside? Pink Ribbon would like you to think of women, and the importance of breast cancer awareness. That's the reason you may notice some pink patches in fields alongside country roads this summer. As several other national breast cancer awareness organizations, Pink Ribbon Germany teamed up with Trioworld for a worldwide campaign using silage bales. Chances are you already spotted pink silage in previous years: their collaboration started back in 2014.
In Germany, pink has brightened up the countryside since 2015, says Christina Kempkes, Head of Communication at Pink Ribbon Germany. The idea of the pink ribbon as a symbol came from the United States, in the 1990s, she explains. “It started with a woman named Charlotte Haley who had successfully used a pink ribbon to draw attention to what she saw as the inappropriate use of funds by the National Cancer Institute. The ribbon stands for various good causes, and pink is now the symbol for breast cancer.”
The importance of early detection
Kempkes describes three important cornerstones when it comes to breast cancer: science, which is all about a cure, medical treatment, and communication about early detection. “Our main goal is to provide information, to avoid fear, and to emphasize the importance of early detection. We can't avoid getting the disease, but in most cases we can increase the chances of surviving by catching it at an early stage. We believe people need to hear about that, we try to bring people positive news. And we need to reach healthy women, because early detection only makes sense as long as you're not affected.”
According to Kempkes, one in eight women will suffer from breast cancer at some point in their lives. “That's a sad number, but on the other hand more than 80 percent survive the disease.”
“We want to make women aware, to become familiar with their own bodies and to do a monthly self-check. The important thing is to not be afraid, which is quite human. So that's why it's best if you can make it a habit, like brushing your teeth, to make it a normal preventive procedure. A lot of women, when they find something unusual, something that wasn't there before, dread a visit to the doctor. We want to change that.”
Pink Ribbon does a lot of advertising and organizing of PR and is especially known for its work with ambassadors, some of which have had breast cancer themselves, such as for instance Sylvie Meis. “They empower other women and really spread hope. They can communicate the importance of doing a monthly self-check and going to the doctor.”
Besides this, the charity is very active in the sports sector, as activity on a regular basis is a good preventive measure. “You have up to 25 percent less chance of getting breast cancer if you're active on a regular basis. That's why, for example, we created the Schleifenroute, a route map through Germany in the shape of a ribbon, and invited people to download free cycling routes. This was very successful, especially during the pandemic.”
Bale wrap in unexpected colours
Another successful partnership is the one with Trioworld. “This is such a nice campaign”, Kempkes says. “They approached us six years ago with their idea of having pink silage bales in the fields. We found it so sympathetic, because the wrapped silage bales are in the field anyway, all summer long.” Trioworld was the first to use bale wraps with different colors. Usually they're green and white, as they're perfect for reflecting sunlight which protects the silage. “But pink film makes people stop and wonder. As you don't expect it, you keep thinking about it, that's what makes it so valuable.”
The first place the campaign was launched was actually in New Zealand, where it was a huge success. Since then, the campaign has rolled out to Europe and other parts of the world.
Especially in Germany it's a good way to reach people, Kempkes says, because here you have either big cities or rural areas. “This is a good way of being present in the countryside. In the city we do all sorts of advertising, like with city lights. In the countryside it's much harder. So now a lot of the time, people riding their bikes will see the pink bales and ask someone working in the field about the message behind it. Or they look it up once they're home or recognize it in a newspaper article.”
Raising money for cancer research
Every party working on the campaign in Germany raises money for the charity, 3 euro for each reel of film sold. It's a shared effort between Trioworld, the dealer and the end user, the farmer. “This way Trioworld donates about 12,000 euros per year to Pink Ribbon as well as Blue Ribbon for cancer research”, Kempkes says. Since 2015 Trioworld has also been raising money for prostate cancer awareness, with bales made of blue silage stretch film.
“It's a very unique and positive idea, because the pink pops up in very unexpected places. There's nothing like it. And with the publicity around it we're able to reach even more people. For us it's a win-win-win-win situation”, Kempkes laughs.
A big heart
This season, there will be a special partnership with light sport aircrafts. “This idea came from a farmer who was getting married, who made a big heart out of silage bales, to show his fiancée his love for her. This showed us you can actually be very creative by positioning the bales in a certain way! So, this year we've asked farmers to do something special with the bales and we asked light sport pilots to make aerial shots of the results. And what comes out of it will be a surprise, who knows?!”