Feb 23, 2009

Get a "Computer Tan" at Work

Interesting campaign from the UK, that actually fooled thousands into believe they could get a tan using their computers.

An infomercial (see below) "presented" a new technology that suppousedly harnesses the rays of a computer screen to give office workers a tan while they type. More than 200,000 people visited the ComputerTan website (30000 in just 24 hours) to register their interest. However, ComputerTan was in fact a ruse by the UK skin cancer charity Skcin to raise awareness of skin cancer in the UK.

Users who registered for a PC tanning session through the fake ComputerTan website and expected to be bathed in heated rays were in fact confronted by an alarming collection of facts about skin cancer, including illustrations and photographs of the disease.

The campaign was masterminded by the advertising agency McCann Erickson and of course the idea behind it was to make British people more aware of the damage that tanning and sunbathing may be doing to their bodies.

The co-founder of Skcin, Richard Clifford, said the campaign was a humorous way to raise awareness of a very serious issue: “More people die of skin cancer in the UK every year than in Australia,” he said (what seems pretty odd considering how more many sunny days you can get in Australia!).

Skcin is a UK-based charity founded by the family and friends of Karen Clifford, who died of skin cancer in 2005 and it offers help and advice on skincare and tanning via its website.

Considering the time I spend in front of the computer, if this product was for real I would be beyond black already...


José Carrilho (Go Detail) said...


Skin cancer is also a serious issue here in Portugal.
It has been talked about for years, but people still keep thinking that only happens to others.

Best regards,


Mariana Soffer said...

The creation of the tanning culture was highly incentivated by the advertising campaings. The dark arts of pyblicity are producing a much more darker picture of advertising as mental pollution.

This contaminating business needs stronger methods to obtain attention from the audience in order to neutralize the harm that was done. In this case they do not even care to make the question "if the computer is always good to us", without any specific or clear message about it.
Is it always good for us?