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When earlier this year U Chicago Medicine wanted to raise awareness of the impact of cancer on families, as well as raise money for research to fight cancer, it turned to the Chicago Tribune Media Group to create a campaign that would reach deep into the city and outlying communities.

The main message UCM wanted to communicate? Individuals diagnosed with cancer — and children in particular — do not battle the disease alone. Parents, siblings, friends and whole communities are impacted and together can defeat the disease.

The campaign the Tribune designed — “Cancer Can’t Compete” — revolved around three key components:

  • Focus on community through impactful, localized cancer marketing
  • Unique marketing about the heart of U Chicago Medicine, its staff, clients, families and the communities served
  • High-impact alignment with Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at 18, acknowledges the effect the disease had on his parents. “I just had to go through the protocol,” he says. “They had to go through the worry in the stress.”

Teaming up with U Chicago Medicine and the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, the Chicago Tribune with the help of Tribune Publishing’s Studio 1847, built the campaign on UCM’s commitment to individuals and families in the communities it serves. The initiative also received support from Mariano’s grocery stores.

From mid-July to mid-October, the campaign ran bi-weekly stories on families impacted by the diagnosis of a child, as well as on UCM patients, in full-page ads in the Sunday Chicago Tribune and suburban dailies. It also ran live digital content on UCM channels and as custom content on ChicagoTribune.com.

In the end, according to Scarborough, Chicago Market, the immersive cross-media campaign reached 4.2 million Chicagoans through 45.8 million print impressions, 183 million digital impressions and 3.4 million email and social media impressions, plus video and billboard displays.