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‘Good’ Campaign of the Week: Rapha

Good Campaign of the Week is a regular feature that, like our prestigious D&AD White Pencil, celebrates creative social good campaigns. Each Monday, together with Branding Magazine, we highlight a new project from across the globe that demonstrates a positive social message with innovation at its heart – showcasing the brands and businesses using creativity to do well by doing good. 

Rapha Cancer Survivor Thrivor Campaign

Rapha's Social Good Campaign, 'Thrivor'

“The mindset of someone suffering from cancer is vital. Falling into the role of a victim is easy to do if one doesn't set their sights on something bigger than themselves.”

Thrivor is both the story and the cause of Justin McLean, in his own words a “40-year-old, young and fit and in the prime of [his] corporate career as a global strategy partner in a great firm.”

A keen cyclist, Justin was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bowel cancer in 2013, but his reaction was one of defiance. His battle would be characterised by the ethos: ‘no plan B’. In other words, there was no other option but to beat it.

With his passion for his bike at the centre of his recovery plan, his best friend Adam Davis presented him with an iconic photo of a cyclist tackling the infamous Passo dello Stelvio and from there, a plan was hatched. At the end of the treatment, the pair and their friends would travel to Corsica, returning to a trail they had ridden a year previously. Corsica would be the light at the end of the tunnel. A finish line to fight towards. 

Rapha Cancer Survivor Thrivor Campaign

Justin posted the image online, which went viral and caught the attention of the original photographer Jered Gruber. Rapha were quick to lend their support soon after and by October 2014, Justin and his friends made the trip to Corsica, which Rapha documented with one of their trademark films.

Rapha’s brand is built on a degree of authenticity is that is rarely matched. Its mantra of ‘Glory through suffering’ isn’t a clever marketing gimmick, but genuinely speaks to the nature and passion of cycling, with an empathy that only real cyclists could understand. 

Rapha Cancer Survivor Thrivor Campaign

Following the trip, Justin founded Thrivor, a not for profit which helps cancer patients and their families. As set out on the charity’s website, its mission is to “fearlessly and unashamedly advocate for the needs of the patient, family and caregivers… [putting] the patient's interests and needs at the heart of every decision made during their journey from diagnosis to completion.” And as a supporter, Rapha is producing a special limited edition Thrivor cycling cap, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the charity.

Brands tread a fine line when choosing to engage with such issues. Here, Rapha’s presence is unintrusive. Instead, they’re playing a small role to help tell an inspirational story, whilst raising awareness and funds for a good cause.

Image credits: Rapha

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate great, transformative ideas that contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. If you think you have a campaign that makes a real and positive difference to the world then why not enter it into D&AD Impact.

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