Kaiser’s Hopeful Message Succeeds

NEW YORK October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And along with all the offerings of pink iPods, mixers, pins and socks on the market, Kaiser Permanente presents this wistful commercial as a moment of hope to those in the midst of the battle. Part of the hospital group’s excellent (regional) “Thrive” campaign, the spot opens with a monochrome frame with “Saturday Morning” handwritten in the corner. Artfully shot by Joe Pytka in black-and-white-ish tones, it documents a day in the life of a 30-something single photographer. She also plays the guitar, and although her life seems pretty glam and she’s young and beautiful, it’s still nice to see her demo represented, as breast cancer is not a disease limited to grandmas or people with huge families and caring spouses. Her day includes hangin’ in her loft with her dog, lunch with friends, and then, as her chic head covering (a hat while her hair grows back after chemo) suggests, radiation. It doesn’t shy away from the proposition—the most dramatic shot in the spot shows her in her hospital gown, on the table, looking into the light. Afterwards, she goes to a guitar store and buys a new instrument, lightly symbolic of all the new experiences she will have post-treatment. “I have cancer, but it doesn’t have me,” another handwritten line affirms. It’s a tough subject to tackle in 90-seconds, and while “Saturday” could come off as opportunistic or heavy handed, it’s done with a nice, matter-of-fact ease and a delicate grace. (And not a drop of pink.) Let’s hope that the Kaiser Permanente treatment lives up to this knowing vision. Campbell-Ewald crafted the effort.