Chris O'Dowd introduces the scrotum balloon.
Chris O'Dowd introduces the scrotum balloon. The Independent

Charity idea has a lot of 'balls'

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 (AUS$171,639) "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 Sapphires 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?" 

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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