SHELTON, Conn. — Energizer Personal Care, which makes Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand sunscreens, has teamed up with the Skin Cancer Foundation to launch a public awareness campaign featuring Los Angeles Galaxy and Team USA soccer player Landon Donovan.
The awareness campaign is the second part of a two-year effort aimed at encouraging men to incorporate sun protection into their daily lives.
"Skin cancer is an important issue to me as my father was diagnosed with skin cancer, but thankfully it was caught early and he is doing great today," stated Donovan. "There is a misperception that sunscreen and other sun protection measures should only be used at the beach. Whether you're spending time outdoors playing soccer, enjoying a round of golf or mowing the lawn, protecting yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays is essential."
In the spring of 2012, the Skin Cancer Foundation and Energizer Personal Care together issued a survey to measure men's knowledge of skin cancer and sun-protective behaviors. The survey confirmed a dramatic gender divide in sun protection and skin cancer awareness. Nearly half (49%) of men in the United States admitted to not using sunscreen in the past 12 months and 70% of men revealed that they did not know what skin cancer warning signs to look for. In almost every case, men were less knowledgeable than women about the proper methods to protect themselves against sun exposure and skin cancer. This is particularly concerning because over the last 30 years, the incidence of melanoma among men ages 18 to 39 has increased by 400% and men older than 50 are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from skin cancer.
The campaign — which consists of print, digital, and television advertising, an interactive web site and a related sweepstakes — was developed to address the survey findings and to work toward closing the gender divide in skin cancer awareness. Donovan is featured in the print ad as a visual example of what not to do when it comes to practicing proper sun care. He is also featured in a video and on the campaign website providing sun safety tips. The campaign encourages men to adopt a sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade, covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, and wearing sunscreen every day.
The public can visit www.SunBlunders.com to learn the facts about skin cancer, sun exposure and the importance of sun protection. In addition, by visiting the website and taking the sun-smarts quiz, users are automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a three-night guys' getaway trip to Key West, Fla. for three. The trip includes the winner's choice of a deep-sea fishing excursion or a day of golf.
Energizer Personal Care is also a supporting sponsor of the Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid. The tour, now in its sixth year, will travel across the country for four consecutive months. Local volunteer dermatologists provide free full-body skin cancer screenings to participants in a 38-foot RV customized with two exam rooms. To date, 16,000 people have received free skin cancer screenings through the tour and volunteer dermatologists have detected nearly 7,000 suspected precancers and cancers, including 295 suspected cases of melanoma. Educational materials that explain how to perform monthly skin checks at home and the proper ways to protect the skin from the sun on a daily basis are provided to tour participants, along with sunscreen samples and other giveaways.