“Help a Dane”, a campaign asking foreigners to save Denmark citizens from skin cancer

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Rubén Escobar (
  • Mikael Bertelsen. Image: Youtube
    Mikael Bertelsen. Image: Youtube.
  • Paella plates from the Spanish version of the video. Image: Youtube
    Paella plates from the Spanish version of the video. Image: Youtube.
  • Mikael Bertelsen recommending skin protection. Image: Youtube
    Mikael Bertelsen recommending skin protection. Image: Youtube.

The Danish Cancer Society has launched a funny initiative for a serious issue mentioning five popular holiday destinations and reminding travelers to protect themselves against the sun.

Going to warm countries and enjoying sunlight has become a common activity among Danish people, who normally face coldness and darkness all along the year. However, not protecting themselves against the sun might incur in a serious problem of developing melanoma in their bodies. In this sense, The Danish Cancer Society has launched a funny campaign for a controversial issue asking the people of five holiday destinations – France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Thailand-, to remind travelers from Denmark to use sunscreen when visiting their countries. The campaign “Help a Dane”, created by Copenhagen agency NoA & Co, aims to tackle the fact that Danes have one of the world’s highest rates of melanoma in the world.

The message spread through a multilingual series of videos parodies a government-style announcement, presented by Mikael Bertelsen and solemnly addressing the people of those five countries in their own languages, meaning that each video is tailored to the local audience. Besides him, a choir of sunburnt and swimsuit-clad Danes are standing holding a serious facial expression.

“Remind us that every single minute under the sun in Spain counts, whether on the beach or in a market. Remind us to take shelter under the shades”, Mr Bertelsen says in the video made for Spanish citizens. He also speaks a very imperfect foreigner version of spoken Thai, French, Italian and Greek. Two plates with typical food from the country accompany his statements of the problem. Thai springrolls, paella, pizzas, Tzatziki sauce and French croissants are some examples.

Denmark has 19,2 cases per 100,000 people annually, slightly higher than its Scandinavian neighbors. If we compare Denmark with some other countries, the UK has 14,6 cases, 11,4 in Germany and Italy, 10,2 in France and 6,9 in Spain. According to data provided by The Danish Cancer Society, annual skin cancer cases are almost double the number in France. While the advert’s tone is clearly intended to be amusing, its backed up frustrating statistics such as this one shows that the problem is much higher than reported in the videos. 

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