It’s hammer time for the Nutcracker Suite

Converging digital with experiential fun to help crack prostate cancer

Granary Square

You may have already seen the Bill Bailey-fronted TV commercial introducing Prostate Cancer UK’s Sledgehammer Fund. In support of this campaign, today marks the launch of an adventurous digital/experiential activity to raise yet more awareness and funds for the charity.

In an event created and designed by Public Zone, 10,000 walnuts have been delivered to a shop in Holborn (the prostate is the size of a walnut), where a succession of celebrity ambassadors will dramatically smash said nuts with a sledgehammer to signify the ultimate aim of crushing prostate cancer once and for all.

Volunteer nut smashers have a crack (pun intended) while friends and family watch via a live web feed on the Prostate Cancer UK website. Meanwhile, incoming donations prompt increasingly embarrassing challenges.

As Martha Paren, Zone’s account manager for Prostate Cancer UK, succinctly put it: “I’ve never worked on anything quite so surreal.”

But there is, of course, a serious message behind the joviality. In the UK 10,000 men die of prostate cancer each year and one in eight will develop the disease at some point, so conversation starters such as this are invaluable for spreading awareness, as well as bringing more emotion to the act of donating.

“This unique event is a bold move for a not-for-profit organisation, and it’s a pleasure to work with a client who clearly understands that innovation only works when people are willing to be brave in their execution of ideas,” explained Zone’s board director Jonathan Simmons.

“At its heart this is a content marketing solution that embraces both traditional PR and digital to get people talking about a serious subject. The idea arose from the relationship between the online and offline world: to raise awareness, increase donations and have a lot of fun along the way.”

To donate £5 to The Sledgehammer Fund, text CRACK to 70004, visit or call 0800 082 1199.