Cannes Lions

SurvivorNet.com

SURVIVORNET, New York / SURVIVORNET.COM / 2019

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Every year, 1.8 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. As with any health problem, most people’s first reaction is to look at Google for answers. Confusing, inaccurate information can send patients down a rabbit hole, where unvetted sources prey on the anxiety that comes after a life-changing diagnosis.

At the same, there's a revolution going on in the treatment of cancer, with a massive new wave of therapies. Yet most people still struggle to find out about these treatments, let alone understand them. Indeed, 70% of cancer patients never make it to a comprehensive cancer center for evaluation or treatment.

SurvivorNet is disrupting this devastating information gap by bringing together clear, vetted, concise information about cancer from the best doctors in the world on one highly curated platform.

SurvivorNet’s objective is to also shatter the taboos that can surround the disease; everything from sexual dysfunction to depression.

Idea

SurvivorNet’s mission is to democratize access to information about cancer. To make a massive body of terrifying information into an accessible, intimate, and personal experience.

Creatively, we are taking the internet equivalent of the sterile doctor’s office and changing into a place that provides comfort and power. Imagine if you have a health issue and you could have coffee with a small group of extraordinary doctors who take the time to explain your options.

The information is the highest quality and it’s presented in a way that’s approachable, direct and honest. The overall tone of the platform is hopeful because there is a lot of hope for many cancer patients these days. It’s also realistic and authentic. There is also fear, loss, and love on SurvivorNet. Because they are part of cancer too.

Strategy

SurvivorNet was born from the personal experience of the company’s founders who struggled to figure out the options when their parents were diagnosed with cancer. To understand how this struggle played out for others, they conducted 500 in-person interviews with cancer patients. They found that most cancer patients, regardless of income or education level, are unable to understand their options for care. The interviews led to a simple, powerful finding; while every cancer is different, most people follow a very similar journey in their disease. This concept of “the journey” became an orienting principle for SurvivorNet’s product. Overall, the data revealed that people want better access to the right information at the right time in their journey. And they want to feel heard and involved in the conversation, rather than on the other end of a one-way, sterile lecture.

Execution

The SurvivorNet team took the official guidelines for cancer treatment and divided them into discrete topics to be filmed along the concept of the journey. A medical advisory board recommended the leading doctors in the country to handle each topic, and, over the course of a year, the company partnered with the two dozen of country’s top cancer centers to get access to their experts for hundreds of hours of filming. Often these experts don’t agree. Making those differing opinions available is central to the product’s value proposition.

At the same time, hundreds of short documentaries were produced. These documentaries are the genesis of a dedicated and growing community, the #survivornetfamily. Topics include, “My Friends Went Away When I Got Sick,” “Finding Love After Cancer” and “How My Daughter Shaved My Hair When I Went on Chemo.”

The site launched in 2018 and content is available on major OTT platforms.

Outcome

Since launch in July 2018, SurvivorNet has built a significant presence in its target market. SurvivorNet.com now reaches 800,000 unique visitors per month, according to Comscore. The platform continues to partner with major cancer centers such as The Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson and now ranks highly in a growing number of Google search categories. Interviews with prominent survivors such as NBC’s Tom Brokaw and Bravo’s Jill Kargman have been widely cited in national news outlets. The site is now also seen as a thought leader with viral videos and editorial pieces on key issues such as the looming public health crisis from vaping.

By far the most important metric for SurvivorNet is the number of people helped. One of these people, Emily Garnett, says, “SurvivorNet figures out the questions people have around their cancer. I use SurvivorNet as a singular, recurring resource throughout treatment to help get trusted information.”