Dalmatians have always been the cultural icons of firehouses, Dodie Smith, and Cruella de Vil. Now L’Oréal-owned skin care company La Roche-Posay is using the breed’s conspicuous spots to send an important health message: Checking out a loved one’s beauty marks could help prevent deadly melanoma. The campaign, #SkinChecker, features the adorable dogs inspecting each other’s spots. The ad by agency BETC is meant to make a potentially uncomfortable conversation–about a friend or family member’s body–seem loving and sweet. As the tag says, “If you care for somebody, become a SkinChecker.”
La Roche-Posay has long been active in promoting skin-cancer prevention. The brand’s support of the British Association of Dermatologists has helped BAD check 3,600 moles and detect hundreds of cancers during road shows. Currently, the company is supporting BAD’s 2015 Sun Awareness Campaign. Its website also offers a portal of information and statistics about skin-cancer prevention worldwide. Citizens of Chile, Australia, and Argentina are the most likely to tell loved ones about potentially concerning beauty marks. Americans are far less forthcoming; only 33% of Americans have spoken with a family member or friend about a possible cancer concern, compared with 44% of people globally. So take a cue from these adorable dalmatians and get up close and personal with the people you love. The attention could be a life-saver.