Will the Scottish government's 'Poo Song' viral help tackle bowel cancer?

The Poo Song: a good chance of becoming popular
The Poo Song: a good chance of becoming popular

Social video expert Goviral evaluates the latest viral campaign from the Scottish government.


The internet is a place that loves strange.

7 / 10

Scottish Government – The Poo Song

‘The Poo Song’ is created, not by Pampers, but the Scottish Government. But what, I hear you ask, does a government have to do with poo?  More than one would think.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland but is highly treatable if detected early by a ‘poo test’. So this ad sets out to engage people around this, admittedly queasy, subject.

Interestingly, the ad targets a young audience to encourage them to get their older family members to do the test for bowel cancer.

The approach – stop motion animation over a Scottish folk song urging poo tests - is unexpected and not missed. By targeting young people with humorous content, the Scottish Government is sending a message in a way which means the audience is more likely to listen. Older citizens might not respond to online video content such as this but their connected kids and grandkids will.

It’s not a new idea, as in November 2012 an Australian train company created a very successful, funny video about "Dumb ways to die" – in which one is behaving recklessly around trains. Nevertheless, the approach is fresh - a long awaited change from terrifying images that scare audience away before the message gets across.

Only problem with the ad is its length. Although it is funny, it may not hold viewers attention to the end, which means many will fail to watch the full two minutes and see the end screen with important campaign information.

As strange as the idea of a poo song might seem, there is a good chance it will become popular. After all, the internet is a place that loves strange.

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