‘Slip! Slop! Slap! jingle’ was written for the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria (now Cancer Council Victoria) campaign to combat high rates of skin cancer in Australia.
The campaign for TV, radio and print is widely credited as playing a key role in the dramatic shift in sun protection attitudes and behaviour over the last four decades.
The Council approached advertising agency Monahan Dayman Adams to come up with a campaign that would encourage Australians to protect their skin from the sun. Working on the campaign were the agency trio behind the earlier successful ‘Life. Be in it.’ campaign: Phillip Adams (creative director), Peter Best (composer) and Alex Stitt (designer/animator).
They adapted a jingle from a Queensland Cancer Fund campaign - ‘Slip Slop Shove’ - and created the ‘Sid the Seagull’ pilot television ad. So successful was the pilot that it was adapted for radio and print, and was picked up by other states and the Australian Cancer Society.
This audio clip is from a radio ad for the NSW Cancer Council, broadcast in 1988, which reused the Victorian campaign. It recommends applying sunscreen of maximum 15 for protection, which seems very low compared to sunscreens today with their maximum Sun Protection Factor of SPF50+.
‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ was later replaced by the SunSmart campaign but subsequently revamped for use in 2005, with the message extended to ‘Slip! Slop! Slap! Seek! Slide!’
An alternate version known as ‘Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap’ was used in New Zealand, where the mascot was a tiger prawn named Tiger.
Watch one of the 'Slip! Slop! Slap!' television advertisements.