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Melanoma NZ has been running an advertising campaign designed specifically not to be noticed by anyone.
As oxymoronic as this might sound in the attention-grabbing world of marketing, the campaign aims to show how easy it is to miss changes to spots on their skin.
All around New Zealand, major companies have over the last few weeks quietly changed the full stops in their brand advertising to indicate a visual representation of the signs of melanoma.
L&P, Lotto Powerball and No Ugly have all had slowly mutating full stops in the advertising to reflect the way melanoma might evolve on the skin. No Ugly went a step further and incorporated the full stop into its product branding.
The full stops featuring in branding are based on a typeface designed specifically to resemble moles that carry the features of melanoma. There are a number of different iterations of the punctuation, all showing slightly different shapes and properties.
Full stops appearing on ads appearing on certain outdoor digital billboards have also been designed to change in response to the level of UV light exposure on a given day.
Again, this was all done subtly and was likely only noticed by the most observant members of the public.
"Although it was deliberately easy to miss the spots in the advertising, we want that to be a clear message to all New Zealanders that missing new or changing spots on your skin could be deadly," says Melanoma New Zealand chief executive Andrea Newland.
"It's heartbreaking to hear melanoma patients share that they didn't notice a change until it was too late. If melanoma is caught and treated early enough, then a spot doesn't have to become a full stop".
New Zealand has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, with more than 4,000 diagnosed and 300 Kiwis dying from the disease every year.
How to spot melanoma
Melanoma New Zealand has an A-G guide to help New Zealanders identify potentially dangerous spots on their skin. Here's a rundown of what Melanoma NZ recommends checking:
Asymmetry: One half is different from the other.
Border Irregularity: The edges are poorly defined (e.g. notched, uneven or blurred).
Colour is uneven: Shades of brown, tan and black are present (there may also be white, grey, red, pink or blue).
Different: Looks different from other spots, freckles or moles ( think ugly duckling).
Evolving: Any changes in growth: new, elevated, itchy or painful.
Firm: To the touch.
Growing: Most are larger than 6mm and keep growing.
From the NZ Herald 15 Feb 2021