Counter Cancer Cards

  • 2017

  • Communication

Designed By:

  • Designer Rice

Commissioned By:

Cancer Council NSW

Designed In:


Evidence now shows that 1 in 3 cases of cancer can be prevented (that’s 37,000 preventable cases a year). 

So we created the Counter Cancer Cards to educate Australians about all cancer risk factors, including alcohol, red and processed meat, lack of fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not getting enough exercise.

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  • The Counter Cancer Cards are designed to engage our audience in an entertaining and educational way. There are 'how to play' rules, with the primary objective of getting a hand that is cancer healthy. Each card addresses specific lifestyle choices, with preventable cancer facts and tips. The cards also became the hero of a broader campaign - to build understanding that 'YOU HOLD THE CARDS TO REDUCING YOUR CANCER RISK'. The Counter Cancer Cards use colourful graphics, simple illustrations and gameplay to communicate an important and complicated message in a positive, empowering and compelling manner.

  • To stack the cards in your favour, blue cards (behaviours that increase your cancer risk) should be swapped for yellow cards (choices that decrease your risk) to achieve a healthier hand. With close friends or family members, the hand a person is dealt can be based on specific lifestyle choices. This was also executed online as a self-assessment quiz that deals the cards based on the user's answers. Alternatively, the hand a person is dealt can be randomly selected from a shuffled deck - to build awareness whilst avoiding personal questions, embarrassment or judgement. This is critical prevention information delivered in a unique format that is easy to use and easy to understand.

  • The Counter Cancer Cards are designed to help educate Australians on how they can stack the cards in their favour. It's an empowering and nuanced message about control, that also provides relevant and practical information on specific risk factors. The goal of the cards is to positively influence Australians on actions they can take today to prevent cancer in the future. This is an innovative, empowering creative solution building awareness and encouraging specific behaviour change. The cards also went on to become the hero of an integrated campaign.

  • The cards provide lots of new information, with specific 'how to play' rules requiring accuracy and nuanced understanding - especially because: - Preventable cancer is 'new news' to the majority of this audience, so believability would require some education. The cards provide a meaningful amount of information to overcome scepticism. - Cancer is not a game. If cancer suffers, survivors and carers are exposed to the cards they must not feel judgement or guilt. - The cards should build a broad understanding of cancer prevention, and address the specific risk factors that cause multiple types of cancer. The content is uniquely appropriate, professionally executed and designed for discovery and message retention

    Cancer Council NSW is a not-for-profit organisation with a limited budget, striving to help Australians beat cancer. The goal of this project was to build awareness with a view to behaviour change. In the first 4 weeks, the campaign that featured the cards achieved 7.8 Mil impressions, 66,000+ page views, 38,000+ unique visitors and 520,000+ video views. 41% of all website visitors took the quiz and were dealt a hand of cards. The campaign was also featured on NBN News, ABC Radio, The SMH, Huffington Post, Campaign brief, B&T News and Ad News. The Counter Cancer Cards were designed as an engagement tool, but have been so popular that CCNSW will be printing them to sell via their retail outlets.