Ode to Boobs

Breakthrough, the UK research and education charity focusing on breast cancer, last month released a cinema campaign, “Ode to Boobs”, a poetic apology illustrated by twelve topless women. Female viewers are encouraged to show some TLC – touch, look and check. The ad is being shown in cinemas across the UK, targeting blockbuster films with a higher than average audience of women over 40 – including ‘The Queen’, ‘The Good Year’, ‘Breaking & Entering’ and ‘Marie Antoinette’ – in order to reach those women most at risk of breast cancer.

Baby appreciates mother's breasts in Ode to Boobs commercial

Ode to Boobs, by Pip Bishop

Dear boobs,
This heartfelt apology goes out to you all
For moaning you’re too big or moaning you’re too small
For wishing you didn’t hang like puppies in sacks
Or just disappear when we lie on our backs
For squashing you flat with a minimising cup
or those torture bras that push you right up.
Why is it always your bad points we mention
Like your inverted nips or your water retention?
Why don’t we love you as much as our men
Or the babies that love you all over again?
Maybe we’re scared to show you we care
In case, one day, you’re simply not there.

The final voiceover: “Make it up to your boobs with some Breakthrough Breast Cancer TLC – Touch, Look, Check. For more info visit breakthrough.org.uk or pick up a postcard from the foyer.”

Ode to Boobs


The Ode to Boobs campaign was developed at RKCR/Y&R London, by executive creative directors Mark Roalfe and Ben Priest, creative director/copywriter Pip Bishop, creative director/art director Chris Hodgkiss and agency producer Sally Pritchett.

Pip Bishop explains her motivation for writing the poem. “Ever since I first started sprouting at the tender age of 9, I’ve hated my boobs. They grew before anyone else’s, and they always seemed bigger than anyone else’s. As I got older, they got a bit wayward and seemed to develop a life of their own. I used to imagine them nipping downstairs to get something from the fridge whilst I lay in bed, or escaping out of the window for a night out on the tiles. All I wanted was to be rid of them. Then, about a year and a half ago, a good friend of mine who is exactly the same age, developed breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy. I decided I needed to apologise to my boobs for the years of grief I’d given them, so sat down and wrote ‘Ode to Boobs’.”

Filming for Ode to Boobs was shot by director Susie Roberson at Weilands, London. The cast all work at RKCR/Y&R or are volunteers from Breakthrough. Roberson, Weiland staff and cast provided their services free of charge. Roberson is now working through her own boutique company, The Plunge Pool.

Music and sound was recorded and engineered by Matt Brace and Toby Griffin at Zoo Studios, London.

Filed under: Breast Cancer