Anomaly essence mediacom

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life unveils new brand and campaign to refresh the popular event series

Agency: Matta


Cancer Research UK’s flagship event series, Race for Life, has undergone a brand refresh to modernise and future proof the series. The UK’s biggest fundraising event series, which raised £33m in 2023, is returning this year with a bold new creative and a shift in attitude, highlighting the tangible impact of the life-saving research that Race for Life has funded and motivating more people to sign up to support Cancer Research UK’s work to beat cancer.

The first Race for Life took place back in 1994, and the rebrand reflects how much the series has changed over the last 30 years. In a crowded market of charitable fundraising events, the new brand positioning will show people how taking part has a real-world impact for cancer patients, shining a light on the cause, the uniting and galvanising factor for millions of people who have taken part over the years. Alongside the new positioning, there is an updated tone of voice, logo, brand colours and typeface.

The new branding will be unveiled with the launch of the 2024 advertising campaign, ‘Life is worth Racing for’. The campaign will be seen across TV, radio, out of home and digital from January, and features personal stories about Race for Life’s impact on the outcomes of people affected by cancer, hooked to the tagline, “no matter how cancer affects us, life is worth Racing for.” The aim is to better articulate that Race for Life is open to everyone who wants to support Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research so that more people can live longer, better lives free from the fear of cancer.

The first ‘Life is worth Racing for’ 30” TV advert aired on 1 January 2024, with further bursts planned from March onwards. And in a Race for Life first, the TV ad will feature on Gym TV throughout the campaign to target potential participants in a highly contextual environment.

Philip Almond, executive director of marketing, fundraising and engagement at Cancer Research UK said:

“At the heart of the development and repositioning of the Race for Life brand is the cause – a collective effort to beat cancer. We’re shining a brighter light on the impact of our work, how Race for Life is an inclusive community coming together for a single cause, and that taking part not only transforms lives, but helps save them.

“Since Race for Life first launched 30 years ago, we’ve seen incredible progress in cancer survival in the UK. We’ve found new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease and every day we see the impact of our work in people affected by cancer and their loved ones. This progress wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of Race for Life supporters.

“But now is the right time for us to refresh the brand, to ensure it stays current and set for future success, and we're excited to see our bold new campaign come to life in 2024.”

One of the most striking elements of the brand refresh is the introduction of a blue gradient into the Race for Life brand colours, alongside the more recognisable pink. Accompanying the refreshed colour palette come changes to brand positioning and tone, with a greater emphasis on the poignancy, joyfulness and impact of Race for Life. The new approach keeps Race for Life’s distinct brand identity, but also moves it away from its history as a female-only event.

Cancer Research UK has worked closely with the agency MATTA on the Race for Life brand strategy, positioning and visual identity. The new campaign was developed with Anomaly London, and media has been planned and bought by EssenceMediacom and Impression.

Joe Corcoran, Executive Creative Director, Anomaly London said:

"Race for Life is a blockbuster event for Cancer Research UK, to be involved in it is a huge honour for Anomaly. The modern Race for Life is supported by many types of people, in support of many types of cancer. Anomaly's job was to reappraise this great event.

“The tagline, ‘Life is worth Racing for’ captures the true emotion at the core of Race for Life. The conflicting feelings of joy and poignancy, sadness, and hope, that make it so powerful, are told through the journey of a Son, who like so many people taking part, experience the full effect of these emotions, whilst fundraising for a loved one affected by Cancer.”

Since it began in 1994, more than 10m people have taken part in Race for Life, funding 30 years of hope and progress. Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with headline sponsor Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is open to anyone and everyone who wants to help raise money for research into all 200 types of cancer. The season will run from May to July 2024 and invites thousands of people from up and down the country to come together to take part. The fundraising series includes distances of 5k and 10k as well as the Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events, which reflects how many people now enjoying running Race for Life as part of mixed friends and family groups. ScottishPower, Slimming World, and Runners Need are also proudly sponsoring Race for Life again in 2024.

This professional campaign titled 'Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life unveils new brand and campaign to refresh the popular event series ' was published in United Kingdom in January, 2024. It was created for the brands: Anomaly and essence mediacom, by ad agency: Matta. This Design, Digital, and OOH Outdoor media campaign is related to the Health industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 3 months ago.


Agency: Anomaly
Production: Tubby Brother Films
Director: Zak Razvi
Producer: Noni Couell
Strategy: Fadi Dada
Exec producers: Ben & Dan Tubby
Production company: Tubby Brother Films
Creative Directors: Whitney Ruef & Jenny Kang
Creative team: Lara Baxter and alice Goodrich
Agency producers: Serena Hodgson, Gareth Williams, Paris Starr.
Project Director: Sam McGeorge
Account Management: Natasha Lequepeys, Emily Stewart, Sarah Firmston-Williams, Diana Buteshova


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