The Real Self-Checkout

HAVAS, London / ASDA / 2022

Case Film
Supporting Content
Case Film






Checking yourself regularly for breast cancer could save your life. But alarmingly, only 1 in 2 women do it regularly. And even less men.

Despite Asda’s Tickled Pink Charity (with charity partners CoppaFeel! and Breast Cancer Now) raising an amazing £77 million from ASDA customers to help fund research and treatment over the last 25 years, we need to do something different.

So this year we decided to try and change behaviour and encourage more women and men to check themselves regularly.

Capitalising on ASDA’s role in the lives of millions of customers, we set out to create a stand-out campaign that would drive real behavioural change amongst ASDA’s 19m shoppers and step up the fight against breast cancer.


Early detection of breast cancer saves millions of lives.So why do more people not do it more regularly? We needed to normalise the idea of checking your breast and make it super easy to do so. And where better to lead the charge than at the everyday supermarket self-checkout. Our idea: to turn the regular weekly shop into a regular reminder to self-check for breast cancer. Because while supermarket self checkouts can save you time, a real self checkout can save you a lifetime.

Turning ‘self-checkouts’ in-store and online from a point of transaction to a point of tuition, The Real Self Checkout encouraged customers to check themselves out for lumps, bumps and anything out of the ordinary.

We then used every part of the shopper’s journey to remind them at timely intervals – from the store floor, to unpacking at home, to shopping online.


If more people checked their breasts regularly, they would be able to detect signs of breast cancer earlier, get treatment earlier and survive cancer. As one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, Asda has a unique opportunity to use its scale for good and shift its 18million customers from awareness of prevention towards action. We built a comms strategy around a model for behaviour change, utilising key touchpoints throughout the Asda customer journey to anchor multiple messages around self-checks.

These fell into three phases:

Prime: Raising awareness of the need for a real self-checkout amongst the adult population.

Nudge: Using the in-store self-checkout area, as well as grocery products and other shopping collateral, to nudge people to do a real self checkout.

Remind: Remind people to check their breasts when they get home via media they’ll see on their journey home, in-home reminders and text alerts.


From the self-checkout to the basket and beyond, we utilised every part of the shoppers journey to remind customers about the importance of a real self-checkout. Replacing the common bar code with a new design icon - the bra code, we employed it tactically from aisle to aisle. Floor stickers, shelf cards, till takeovers, tannoy announcements and receipts reinforced the message that the most important checkout is ‘a real self checkout’. This helped establish a mental connection between supermarket self checkouts and a real lifesaving self checkout. This in-store activity was supported by a comedic social film and radio campaign employing the robotic voice of the self checkout; an array of print and digital communications teaching people how to do ‘the real self checkout’; a video series with advice from ‘real self-checkers - breast cancer survivors; and finally, at-home reminders courtesy of product stickers, shopping bags, texts and CRM emails.


With 633 physical stores, ASDA holds significant cultural influence and is therefore in a strong place to enact real behavioural change. Although the campaign is currently still running and results are yet to be collated, we are firstly measuring the success of this campaign by how many people we reach each week. So far that number is already in the millions. And the more people who we remind to self-check, the more lives we can save.

Reports from clients and customers suggest that awareness is already at an all time high thanks to this campaign - but we believe the true results will be there in years to come.

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