Blowing Up a Balloon Could Save Your Life

//  08.13.18


The Lung Association – Ontario and BBDO Toronto have launched The UnFun Balloon to raise awareness about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Balloons have been a colourful, cheery part of celebrations since at least the late 1800s, but they can also alert people to serious hidden health conditions. Blowing up a balloon is a key health test that most people have been taking their whole life without realizing it.

The Lung Association – Ontario has partnered with BBDO Toronto to urge Ontarians to take “The Unfun Balloon” test. The new test is part of an effort to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

An umbrella term for a group of progressive lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD accounted for 4.4% of all deaths among Canadians 40 and over in 2011, and is expected to become the third largest cause of death worldwide by 2020.

It is estimated that 1.6 million of the approximately 3.2 million Canadians currently living with COPD don’t know it, preventing them from seeking out potentially life-saving medical treatment.

“With such a large number of people estimated to be living with COPD who have not yet been diagnosed, it is crucial that we do what we can to ensure they get the treatment they may desperately need,” says George Habib, President and CEO, The Lung Association – Ontario.

Blowing up a balloon can be an indicator of lung health. The Lung Association is urging people who struggle with the task to visit to discover the additional symptoms and risk factors of COPD.

Additional symptoms of COPD can include:
• A long-lasting cough
• A cough with mucus
• Feeling short of breath while doing everyday activities such as climbing stairs or carrying groceries
• Lung infections such as a cold or flu that last longer than usual
• Wheezing when you breathe
• Feeling tired

The Lung Association is mailing The Unfun Balloon to GTA residents so that they can conduct the test at home, while an accompanying awareness campaign includes transit ads featuring an image of an uninflated balloon driving people to get more information about COPD at URL. The Unfun Balloon will also be available for free at select retailers, but any balloon can be used to take this new test making it very accessible and easy to do.

Because those who smoke and those who have smoked are at a higher risk for developing COPD (accounting for between 80-90% of all cases), The Lung Association is also promoting the Canadian Lung Health Test, which helps screen for symptoms:

• Do you cough regularly?
• Do you cough up phlegm regularly?
• Do even simple chores make you short of breath?
• Do you wheeze when you exert yourself (exercise, go upstairs?)
• Do you get many colds and do your colds usually last longer than your friends’ colds?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” The Lung Association is urging you to see your healthcare provider to be assessed for COPD. Your healthcare provider may send you for a lung function test called “spirometry,” which measures the volume and flow of air that can be inhaled and exhaled.

The Unfun Ballon
Client: Lung Association – Ontario
Marketing: Peter Glazier, Monica Kocsmaros

Agency: BBDO Toronto
CCO: Denise Rossetto, Todd Mackie
VP, ACD: Chris Booth, Joel Pylypiw
Art Director: Bryan Howarth
VP, Group Account Director: Rebecca Flaman
Account Director: Saloni Wadehra
Account Coordinator: Nasreen Mody
Director: Chris Booth
Director of Photography: Angel Navarro
Sound: Przemek Zalinski
Editing, Post Production: Saints Editorial, Christopher Chang
Colour: Alter Ego
About The Lung Association – Ontario:
The Lung Association – Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping all Ontarians breathe. Our community of donors, patients, researchers, volunteers and professional staff work to ensure Ontarians have healthy lungs, bodies and clean air necessary to breathe. We achieve this by promoting healthy breathing, supporting those living with lung disease and finding future solutions. All of this is done with the goal of delivering a future of better breathing for all.



  • Elaine Mendez

    I had been hospitalized for 4 years in a row all in the same month march, for shortness of breath. They thought it was asthma. The last time which was this year, they hospitalized me for a week. Which they ran lots of test and determined I have COPD. The symptoms I had were shortness of breath, tired, and coughing.There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. I was seeking something to help regain my life to be able to do things for myself. Through my primary physician i learnt about a COPD disease herbal formula from NATURAL HERBAL GARDENS and their success rate with the treatment, i immediately started on the COPD disease herbal protocol, I am glad to report the herbal formula worked effectively and there was no side effects, I had a total decline in symptoms, the Chest tightness, shortness of breath and other symptoms stopped, my COPD disease is totally REVERSED, Here is a link to the website we ordered from ww w . naturalherbalgardens . com This Herbal Protocol is Incredible!!

  • Tina Susan

    I started on COPD Herbal treatment from Ultimate Life Clinic, the treatment worked incredibly for my lungs condition. I used the herbal treatment for almost 4 months, it reversed my COPD. My severe shortness of breath, dry cough, chest tightness gradually disappeared. Reach Ultimate Life Clinic via their website . I can breath much better and It feels comfortable!