New AAD PSA campaign warns young women, older men of skin cancer risk

elizabeth-martin-head-shot.jpgBy Elizabeth Martin, MD

  A new public service advertisement (PSA) campaign launched by the Academy warns two very different groups about their increased risk of developing skin cancer: teen girls and men over 50.

Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young women ages 15-29. It is alarming that so many teenage girls are tanning despite the fact that using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase their risk of developing melanoma by 59 percent. “Arms,” a new TV PSA, and “If Skin Could Talk,” a new radio PSA, aim to encourage young women to give up dangerous tanning behaviors or think twice before they start.

“Arms” warns teen girls about the very real dangers of tanning
  “Arms” warns teen girls about the very real dangers of tanning — both indoors and out. In the PSA, two young girls compare their tans throughout significant points in their lives. As time passes, a small mole on one of the girls’ arms begins to change — becoming bigger and darker — and is eventually replaced by a bandage. The emotional ad concludes with the two friends clasping hands in the hospital as one of them reveals she has advanced stage melanoma.

  “If Skin Could Talk” warns young women that if they continue their risky tanning behaviors, it could result in scary consequences in the future, including wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

A second TV PSA, “Looking Good,” targets men over 50, who have a higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population. “Looking Good” uses humor to encourage men to check their skin for the signs of skin cancer. The PSA shows a man posing comically in a bathroom mirror alone. As he admires himself, a female voiceover encourages the man to look more closely at his skin. After sharing facts about skin cancer, the female voiceover instructs the man to regularly check his skin and find a partner to help as the man’s wife watches from the doorway amused by her husband’s behavior.


“Looking Good” targets men over 50.
The Academy launched the “Looking Good” PSA to the public and media on May 2, Melanoma Monday, as part of its 2016 SPOT Skin CancerTM campaign – themed “Looking Good in 2016.” On Melanoma Monday, many major national media outlets covered the campaign, including The TODAY Show, The Weather Channel, and NBC News Channel, and each featured clips from the “Looking Good” PSA. Many local broadcast networks also covered the importance of skin cancer awareness, with segments airing in 43 of the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. In fact, in May and June alone, the Academy has generated more than 618 million media impressions via print, broadcast, and online stories.

This new PSA campaign launches after one of the most successful PSA campaigns in Academy history, which received more than $31 million in free advertising placements. As you will see, this new campaign has the potential to reach that same level of success with three very powerful PSAs. The Academy is currently distributing the ads to TV, cable, and radio stations across the country.

To build off the success of “Looking Good,” the Academy has begun pitching “Arms” to the media this week. You can help educate your community about these important topics by sharing these new PSAs with your local media. For information on how to share the PSAs, visit the Media Relations Toolkit.

For more information about the campaign, email