To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is slowly becoming as iconic a part of October as jack-o-lanterns and alcoholic abstinence, Havas Chicago has launched another attention-grabbing effort inviting those passing by their offices on Grand Ave and Wabash in Chicago’s bustling River North neighbourhood to come and literally play with boobs. Who could resist? In short, the agency have filled a room with a bunch of circular 3-foot balloons designed to look like breasts and are inviting passers by to indulge in a little carefree groping. Windows outside the installation invite viewers to partake in some boob-filled fun with inviting text reading “BOOBS” and the message “Play with ours. Check yours.” There’s also a series of nicknames for breasts cheerfully displayed on the window, including “headlights,” “honkers,” “fun bags,” “bazoombas,” “gazongas” and even “tig ol’ bitties.” My own personal favourite slang term; “Maguppies,” is sadly nowhere to be seen. For shame.
It's all for a good cause, of course, as the idea is to encourage people to check their own breasts on a regular basis. Once pedestrians have been lured inside, there are a series of reminders to “Check Yo’ Self” regularly, as well as instructions for how to perform a self breast exam. There’s also a social extension through the #CheckYoSelf hashtag and for every use of said hashtag, the agency will make a donation to cancer charities The Pink Agenda and TV personality Giuliana Rancic's FAB-U-WISH program.
Havas Chicago Group Creative Director Ecole Weinstein, said: “This installation was designed to get a reaction, We wanted to do something bold and fun using our creativity to convey a powerful message. If we can remind just one more woman or man to check themselves once a month, we’ve been successful.” The Pink Agenda's Executive Director Lucretia Gilber, added: “The Pink Agenda is so thankful to benefit from Havas' creative installation in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Funds raised will support Giuliana Rancic's FAB-U-WISH program, which grants wishes to women currently going through treatment, as well as critical breast cancer research needed to find a cure. We aim to make breast cancer history and philanthropy fun, and this is fun!”
This isn't the first time Havas Chicago has created a provocative window display of course. Last year for Breast Cancer Awareness Month the agency unveiled an equally provocative installation designed to extend awareness of the disease and raise funds for the cause. The same window currently being used to show off gigantic latex tits was transformed into a makeshift “Peep Show,” complete with flashing pink neon lights that beckoned passers by to check out “Topless Girls.” honestly I'm impressed that the agency keeps getting away with installations this brazen, but then it is for a good cause. For the sake of comparison you might want to check out the recent CoppaFeel campaign from Karmarama, which serves the same purpose, only gets its message across using celebrities instead of actual tits. Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of the word “Tit.”
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK.