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Big challenges need big ideas



Eddy Royal

Curative launches refreshed Canteen Aotearoa brand with a ‘BIG’ campaign

Cancer is a difficult subject matter to talk about, but around 4,200 rangatahi  are impacted by cancer every year in Aotearoa. 

That’s why creative agency Curative has worked with Canteen to update their brand and introduce a new campaign so that rangatahi grappling with big feelings, know they have the big support they need if they are faced with a cancer diagnosis. 

Canteen Aotearoa Marketing & Communications Manager Gena Wright says that it’s important that rangatahi dealing with cancer know that they’re not alone. “We really want to make sure that Canteen feels like a safe space for rangatahi to connect, share the tough stuff and to get a break from cancer. And this needs to be true not just in our services, but in the way our brand and marketing connects with all rangatahi and their whānau”. 

The refreshed brand honours the 35-year legacy of Canteen, retaining the iconic red, but leaning into a simple, cleanline, modern aesthetic. It includes a graphic device that builds on alternate meanings of canteen – as a place to eat and connect, and a vessel of sustenance. This natural Canteen device lives within the logo, and shares the metaphor of togetherness, nourishment, and being supported.   

The new direction for the brand is being shared with a campaign in which Canteen says: Cancer is Big. So is our support. 

Curative Strategic Planner Anna Cernis says that we want all rangatahi to know about Canteen. “Cancer could impact anyone of us, at any time. And when you’re first hearing the news and feeling the feelings, you may not know where to turn, especially if you’re younger. So, for us it was important to name those feelings, and hopefully Canteen will be top of mind should rangatahi and their whānau need that extra help through the tough times”. 

The campaign uses authentic imagery of rangatahi impacted by cancer who are connected with Canteen, and includes simple language to name the real stuff that’s going on for them: Big Fear, Big Feelings, Big Loss – always countered with the care, support and network that Canteen provides: Big Support, Big Crew, Big Love. 

To truly go ‘BIG’ the campaign has been generously supported by the MediaWorks Foundation.

Liz Fraser, MediaWorks Commercial Director says  “The kaupapa of the MediaWorks Foundation is to assist charities dedicated to significantly improving the lives of New Zealanders. The work that Canteen Aotearoa has done, and continues to do, supporting our rangatahi who are facing cancer is not only incredible, but vital. MediaWorks is proud to be able to support them as one of our charity partners this year.”

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