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Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign for People of Color


Client: 21 Grams

An agency that specializes in health. Driven by the ambition to make healthcare more inspiring hence offer creative solutions to big healthcare issues.


From our investigation the problem is two-fold

The facade that Melanin offers a natural skin protection

People of color do not prioritize the dangers of sun damage because there is a facade that Melanin offers natural skin protection. 

Skin cancer has always been seen as a "white people problem".

There is generally a lack of representation and its until recently that brands have innovated skincare products that work with people of color

Skin Cancer is treatable when it is detected early however, Black skin does not show signs of skin damage as it would on white skin so there is a need to bring awareness on how black people can monitor their skin when exposed to the sun.

Project Goals

- Create awareness within the black community on the dangers of skin cancer

- Provide a human-centered tool that will empower the black community around the globe to monitor skin damage based on their skin type

The Solution

Unfated is a mobile app that encourages early detection by putting the power to prevent melanoma in the hands of POC. It will also help to start the conversation around skin cancer, particularly melanoma in the Black community. 


 Phase 1: Awareness Campaign 

The campaign will feature tarot card and astrology imagery to target a young Black audience and POC. Within each ad, there will be messaging that emphasizes early detection and diagnosis. 

Goal; The ads will ultimately be a call to action for a technological solution that people can download to help educate, empower, create trust, and ultimately help change behavior.


Phase 2: Change Perception + Behavior

This tool will help monitor skin damage in a way that is unique to dark skin


Goal: To encourage community engagement around melanoma prevention and provides a library of educational resources. 

Home Screen

The first thing users will see is the UV index for the day and the user’s sun exposure throughout the day.

Based on the UV index and amount of sun exposure the app will suggest whether the user should do a skin check. 

Skin Check Monitor

Darker skin tends to show fewer signs of red pigmentation, therefore, through the user’s phone camera they would be able to check their skin for sunburns based on the temperature of the skin. 

The app will also suggest areas to treat and monitor for sun burns to help users know where to check.   

Community Forum

Users can interact with others and have a place where they can show and discuss pictures of their skin. There is also an image library that users have access to where they can see pictures of a minor, moderate to severe damage. 

This helps not only create conversation but builds trust to help people feel empowered and more educated about how to monitor potential sun-damaged skin areas.  

User testing

We tested the app with 5 POC to get a better understanding, indicate, and test against these parameters:

Usability + Ease of use.          Functionality.        Empowerment + Education.        Communal Recommendation 

Overall there was a positive response to the app and content with most people saying that this would be a helpful tool and help create more confidence and trust when it comes to skin diagnosis and skin care prevention

“Showing the severity of the burn and the importance of it would help me decide if it’s a big deal and whether I should go see a doctor. But that’s a super helpful feature. The UV index and time spent in the sun also is a cool feature and would personally help me since I need to be conscious of my skin in the sun.” 

I like the reminders and how adds that level of urgency to check your skin and put on sunscreen or get out of the sun for a little bit. Also the concept and design are sleek, simple and easy to navigate.”

“Love the ideas of areas to monitor, helps to hone down where to look and is specific to your body and skin type” 

“The community aspect of the app is what excites me most, I think it’s something that is unique and very interactive and educational. I think it would definitely help start the conversation in the Black community around skin cancer.”

What I did.

Social Listening, 1X1 interviews, Campaign Strategy, User Testing

What I loved.

This project was an eye-opening experience. I am black. I have experienced sunburns but I had no idea that could lead to skin cancer for me or black people in general. This is definitely a tool that I can use and share with friends.

The 'gang'.

Catherine Marsh, ST

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