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Nearly a year after its founder, Evelyn H. Lauder, passed away, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is taking steps to continue her legacy — including partnering with the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. to mark the corporation’s 20th annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.
This story first appeared in the October 5, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The BCA campaign, which kicks off this week, has several new elements this year, including an interactive Facebook “Milestones of Courage” timeline, which also curates content marked #BCA20 from Instagram, Twitter, Viddy and Tumblr; an interactive mobile exhibition, and a new brand visual put together by Jim Nevins, senior vice president and global creative director for Clinique, with an image by Patrick Shaw. There is also a public-service ad running on Taxi TV.
In 2010, the BCA Campaign set a Guinness World Record for most monuments lit for a cause in a 24-hour period, with 38 on the docket. Monuments to be lit this year include the Empire State Building, Paris’ Opera House and the Los Angeles International Airport.
Lauder appears in a milestone video, which will be used around the world at press events, social- and digital-media outlets and selected retailers. Speaking on why she founded the BCRF and then the BCA campaign, she said, “[About] 44,000 women were dying from breast cancer every year, and no one was talking about it. Once you know something has to be done, you have to do it. If you don’t do it, it’s a sin.”
She added, “It’s one thing to be able to sell fragrances and perfumes and creams to all our customers. It’s another thing to help them live their lives longer.”
“The BCA campaign is one of the most important things we do as a company that is not related to selling and marketing our product,” said William Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos., who is carrying on his mother’s role of traveling to global cities with program ambassador Elizabeth Hurley. “It has so many different touch points, both within our company and outside our company. It is one of the most important philanthropic causes that we do. It crosses multiple brands and creates a level of engagement.” Lauder noted that many advances in breast-cancer research over the past 20 years have been funded by the BCRF and the BCA campaign.
This year, he added, 15 of the corporation’s brands are participating with a variety of merchandise, including a $75 Estée Lauder enameled compact with a blush shade dubbed Evelyn’s Dream; a $27.50 Origins Make a Difference skin rejuvenating treatment; a $19 bright pink Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick in Inspiration; a $16 Clinique Pink With a Purpose Chubby Stick Moisturizing lip color, and a $45 Bobbi Brown Pink Peony Set, with a Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer and Mini Blender Brush.
The BCA campaign has generated $35 million in North America over the years through the sale of these products, which has been donated directly to the BCRF. The BCRF has raised more than $380 million for research since its inception in 1993.
“We felt both inspired and emotional about the fact that this is both the 20th anniversary of the campaign — which really shows an enduring commitment — and, of course, our first year of carrying on without Mrs. Lauder, so it is very personally important to all of us,” said Marisa Thalberg, vice president of corporate digital marketing for the Estée Lauder Cos.
The Facebook application will live on the BCA’s global Facebook page and can be contributed to globally, including the 36 countries that participate in the BCA campaign. In China, where Facebook is not permitted, the company will use Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, and Tuding, an Instagram-type channel, to get a similar message out.
“We will also pepper in research milestones and other accomplishments from the last 20 years,” said Thalberg of the timeline.
To further drive consumers to use the application, the BCA campaign will donate $1 to the BCRF for every global milestone posted to its Facebook in October, up to $25,000.
The U.S. and several global markets will offer an interactive mobile exhibition outfitted in a trailer. At the touch of a screen, visitors will be able to access the monument illuminations for the last 20 years; all of Evelyn Lauder’s public-service announcements on breast cancer, and meetings with former first lady and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other high points. About 40 people can be in the unit at any given time.