SkyBalls appeal: Chris O'Dowd's charity appeal that's a load of balls (but in a good way)

Testicular cancer campaign aims 'to build a fully operational hot-air balloon in the shape of a huge scrotum'

For some, the recent trend of wealthy celebrities asking for money from crowdfunding websites has looked like a load of hot air and, frankly, balls.

So our attention was drawn to "SkyBalls" a new appeal that hopes to raise £100,000 "to build a fully operational hot-air balloon in the shape of a huge scrotum to challenge the taboos and embarrassment surrounding testicular cancer".

The giant ballbag would then, presumably, become a floating, unavoidable (and very funny) reminder of male health. The stunt, on the Indiegogo.com website, is the idea of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign (MCAC) and fronted by Chris O'Dowd, the actor known for his roles in The IT Crowd and Bridesmaids.

"I've been a big supporter of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign for a few years now," says O'Dowd. "[It's] all about getting people involved through affirmative action. And what could be more life-affirming than building a hot-air balloon like this?" For a £5 donation you get a sticker, for £10,000 the ball balloon will come to a location or event of your choosing, anywhere in the world. At the time of writing it had raised £6,357.

MCAC has form for eye-grabbing campaigns. A recent video featured Rhian Sugden, a glamour model, in lingerie, asking viewers if they "want to see me touch myself". She then produced a pair of testicles from her briefs and demonstrated how to feel them.

It seems that campaigns for the "embarrassing" cancers have to get bigger and better each time. Thus appeals such as Movember (the moustache-growing event to raise money for male health) or Coppafeel (encouraging women to feel their breasts) are under pressure to grow and to outdo themselves each year in the "wacky" – or at least eye-catching – stakes.

But if SkyBalls works, it will be a lot less balls than many of the crowdfunding efforts fronted by the famous.

 

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