Leave your hat on - for 26 years

Melanoma-Institute-spot.jpgSUNSMART-SPOT-1991.jpgAd watchers might have noticed the latest Melanoma Institute Australia campaign that is currently raising money for melanoma research. The 60-second ad, created by Sydney-based DoP and director Mike Perry, opens with a young woman dancing at dusk and singing her own soulful version of Joe Cocker's 'You Can Leave Your Hat On'.

But whilst imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it should be noted that this new "hat" has actually been worn before. Because Melbourne-based writer, Philip Taffs, and art director, Matthew Burgess, created the first "You Can Leave Your Hat On" campaign for their client, SunSmart, back in 1991. Their agency was Sanford Vick - now the Sanford Partnership.

Making looking after your skin both sensible and sexy, their original Leave Your Hat On campaign (featuring the same Joe Cocker/Randy Newman track) reversed the famous striptease imagery of the film 91/2 Weeks and showed a couple putting clothes - and hats - on, rather than taking them off.

The multi-tiered campaign was aimed at younger people, and in particular young men, as research had outlined that they were the group most likely to place themselves at the risk of skin cancer.

The television and radio campaign ran over the summer in 1991/92 and again in 1992/93.  The media budget exceeded $500,000 across the two years. 

Research valuation later showed that 63% of the Victorian population remembered the advertisement.  

Best of all, the phrase has now passed into the vernacular as a constant reminder to "be SunSmart".

4 Comments

Bad cover version said:

Good cause, good intentions, but the 1991 version is infinitely better.

The Brutal Truth said:

Being paid twice for the same idea goes some way to balancing the inequity of being paid for your time, not your ideas.

Yolly said:

Always loved the Phil Taffs spot. Ahead of its time and beautifully produced.

arkkk said:

Both creep me out, The movie version too, a bit.

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