#DumbBurn is a Sun Safety campaign targeted to 18 to 24-year-olds in social and workplace settings

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand, estimated to account for just over 80% of all new cancers diagnosed. More people die from skin cancer than on our roads. Approximately 90% of skin cancers are preventable. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer worldwide. However, despite this, people are often not SunSmart.

While previous campaigns have focused on how to protect yourself (SLIP, SLOP, SLAP and WRAP), this campaign focuses on what motivates young people to protect against UV damage ie, the pain and inconvenience to their life, embarrassment, and unattractive tan lines and peeling.

Key Messages

Avoid #DumbBurn this summer
Protect your skin when you are outside. Be SunSmart Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.
Sunburn from UV radiation is inconvenient, looks stupid and gets in the way of having fun this summer
For more see


This campaign engages with young people in the 18 to 24 age group who socialise or work outdoors. Evidence shows this audience is at greater risk of sunburn (over exposure to UVR). And insights tell us that young people are motivated to be SunSmart more by the immediate consequences of getting sunburnt ie, pain and inconvenience to their life, and appearance based cues such as tan lines and peeling.

While the audience has some awareness of skin cancer, this is far in the future and is not as relevant to them as more immediate considerations like image and having fun and how getting sunburnt can interfere with that.