Be Brave, Be Healthy – Ožujsko Presents Prostate Cancer Campaign

Lauren Simmonds


February the 29th, 2024 – Everyone’s favourite Croatian beer, Ožujsko, has launched a new socially responsible project “Be brave, be healthy” – a campaign to encourage regular health checkups and early detection of prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer in men in Croatia.

Through a motivating song and Žuja’s very specific sense of humour, the new socially responsible initiative is inviting all men to go and get their urological examination done. In cooperation with Croatia Poliklinika (Polyclinic) as part of this campaign, Žuja will ensure free examinations for men over the age of 50 from all over Croatia.

Over the last few years, prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of death from cancer in men. According to the latest damning data, about 2,800 people in Croatia are diagnosed with it annually, and about 800 of those individuals die. On top of all that, 600 more men walk around with undetected prostate cancer every year, and this lack of quick detection significantly increases the mortality rate from this devastating disease.

Due to the absence of symptoms, prostate cancer is difficult to detect at an early stage, but it is crucial to diagnose it as soon as possible, because early detection, according to experts, typically means 100 percent success in terms of treatment.

“Prostate cancer must be detected as early as possible in order for treatment to be effective, and that’s why it is important to raise the level of awareness of men, especially those over 50, about regular visits for preventive examinations. If this campaign saves even one single life, it’s been totally worth the investment and effort. The five-year survival rate from this type of cancer is, according to the latest available data in Croatia, more than 82 percent, which means that out of a hundred men diagnosed with prostate cancer, 82 will still be alive in five years. This is a measure that is commonly used for comparison between different cancers”, said Professor Igor Tomašković PhD, a specialist in urology at KBC Sestre milosrdnice (Sisters of Charity Hospital, Zagreb), during the presentation of the campaign.

Putting a stop to prejudice and misconceptions

With prostate cancer, there is no possibility of self-examination, there are unfortunately no characteristic symptoms either. That means that the only single way to detect this cancer at an early stage is to undergo preventive examinations by a urologist, which men often shy away from. This is exactly where this favourite Croatian beer found its inspiration.

“Žuja, as the strongest brand in the brewing industry, which has been being produced in Croatia for 130 years, has always been relevant and sought inspiration in our society, no matter how serious the situation may be. After successful socially responsible campaigns we decided to use the power of our brand once again to make the public aware of the importance of regular health checkups and the importance of the early detection of prostate cancer, the most common form of all cancers in men in Croatia. As such, in cooperation with top doctors from the profession and through Žuja’s impressive communication, we decided to break the stigma and preconceptions many men have in regard to prostate examination. We want to show all men, as well as their loved ones, that there’s no place for fear or shame when it comes to taking care of our health”, said Miroslav Holjevac, President of the Zagreb Brewery Management Board.

A song for courage

Ožujsko beer’s commendable campaign is accompanied by a TV spot with the legendary trio of actors; Goran Bogdan, Goran Navojec and Rene Bitorajec taking the lead roles. Through motivating text and music, as well as the humour characteristic of Žuja’s previous campaigns, the video invites all men to pluck up the courage to make an appointment with a urologist.

“Most Croatian men bury their heads in the sand and ignore the symptoms of impaired health, and avoiding going to the doctor is considered a virtue. The reality is that through early detection of this disease, patients can significantly prolong their lives and reduce the side effects of the treatments required that significantly reduce the quality of life in the advanced stages of prostate cancer. Going for a prostate examination is an unpleasant thought for many men, although in reality it isn’t, which is why it’s important to change the public’s perception of it. That’s why Žuja is here to encourage, educate and motivate men to go and see a urologist on time. This is what we were guided by when creating the campaign and slogan – Strong men aren’t scared of a finger said Ana Štebih Pinjuh, the marketing director of Zagrebačka pivovara (Zagreb Brewery). During the presentation of the campaign, she thanked the great team of Žuja’s creative agency BBDO, led by director Bruno Anković and creative director Almir Okanović.

“Men’s chronic carelessness about their health, which is partly learned and partly biological, was our creative inspiration. We formulated a message in the form of a song that hits men where they feel it the most: their pride, courage and masculine determination, and of course with a dose of Žuja’s humour. The result is this genius campaign”, commented Almir Okanović.

As previously stated, in cooperation with Croatia Poliklinika (Polyclinic) Ožujsko will ensure free prostate examinations for all men over 50 years of age as part of its “Be brave, be healthy” campaign. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, examination is also advised for men 45 and up. Applications for free prostate exams are available here. In addition, Žuja will present its donation to the Urology Clinic at KBC Sestre milosrdnice later this year.


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