TikTok has answered Melanoma Institute Australia’s plea to stop the glamourisation of tanning, with a new campaign aimed directly at people aged 20-39.

In direct response to a plea from Melanoma Institute Australia for social media and influencers to stop glamourising tanning, TikTok has announced it is launching a broad-reaching education campaign targetting Australians aged 20-39 years old.

The plea was made at the National Press Club of Australia by MIA Co-Medical Directors, Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO, alongside Olympian and melanoma survivor Cate Campbell.


In direct response, TikTok is removing concerning content associated with the #sunburnchallenge and is adding educational content and links from Melanoma Institute Australia to all searches across the platform around tanning, summer and sunburn. The campaign will use humour to throw shade at tanning, and turn our tanning culture on its head.

The campaign – Tanning. That’s Cooked. – will see user-generated content flooded across the platform through December. TikTok is confident that every 20 to 39-year-old Aussie using their platform will see the Tanning. That’s Cooked. messaging.

‘Tanning. That’s Cooked.’ will use humor to throw shade at tanning and highlight the dangers and the craziness of cooking yourself in the sun like a sausage on a BBQ.

TikTok, GM, Lee Hunter said we know that humour works well with this demographic rather than serious corporate or health messages.
“The campaign is inviting TikTok creators to use humour and throw shade at tanning in their own authentic way, helping to spread the word and change the perception of tanning. It’s our most deadly form of skin cancer, it’s nearly always caused by over exposure to UV radiation and the sun, and it’s preventable in most cases, yet it’s the most common cancer among those aged between 20 and 39 – That’s Cooked!”

Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Matthew Browne said TikTok was the perfect partner to help deliver this serious message and connect with young Australians.
“Our Medical Directors put out a plea about the urgent need to stop the glamourisation of tanning, to save young lives, and we are delighted TikTok answered that call. One Aussie is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes and it claims more lives than the national road toll. Tanning is actually skin cells in trauma. There is no safe way of sun tanning, including the concept of getting a protective ‘base tan’ at the start of summer. That’s like saying smoking a few cigarettes a day will protect you from developing lung cancer.”

The creative idea was the brainchild of global ad agency TBWA and will form part of the TikTok For Good initiative which helps charities, Not-for-profits and NGOs share their messages on TikTok.

“We’ll actively promote the creator content related to the campaign, which means everyone aged between 20 and 39 will see the message. And everyone who searches for a hashtag related to summer sun, tanning and many other summertime phrases, will see the ‘Tanning. That’s Cooked.’ banner and will be provided with information that outlines the dangers of tanning, with links to Melanoma Institute Australia,” Lee Hunter said.

‘Tanning. That’s Cooked.’ will begin on December 1st.


Top tips to protect yourself:
Follow the 5 sun safe rules – seek shade, use SPF 50+ sunscreen, and wear a broad brimmed hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.