Since the global pandemic began, brands continue to determine the best way forward on messaging. The tone of advertising covers a fairly wide range. There’s unity, as exhibited by “The Real Heroes Project.” There are explanations of business shifts to aid society. And, of course, plenty of ads offer endless and deserved thanks to essential workers, from delivery services to retailers and, most crucially, healthcare professionals.
Most of the latter’s messaging has revolved around narratives, explaining how much the public appreciates the hard work of doctors, nurses, and technicians in hospitals around the world. But one ad, from LifeBridge Health of Maryland, captures every possible emotion with a simple, yet stunningly powerful approach.
Created by StrawberryFrog, the 60-second short was shot inside one of the health system’s hospitals in Baltimore with the agency’s partner and ecd, Tyler DeAngelo, and National Geographic photographer, anthropologist and Pulitzer Center grantee Joshua Cogan.
Real caregivers were asked to step inside a Care Booth at the end of their shifts. As each person sheds their masks and protective gear, the raw, overwhelming exhaustion is evident. The powerful vulnerability underscores the monumental task facing hospital staff. The spot, airing in Maryland, honors their sacrifice through restraint and a wise decision to not get in the way of the moments by using only supers and music.
“We wanted to represent the sacrifice, courage and determination of front-line healthcare workers in this moment—in their most raw and stark form. It’s this realness which both honors their work and makes the spot so distinctive,” said Brian Deffaa, CMO of LifeBridge Health.
“The production was much more emotional than I expected,” added DeAngelo. “Watching these healthcare workers in real time, right off their shift, shed their protective gear moved me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Even though I knew what the message was about, I don’t think I fully understood how important it was until I saw these vulnerable people who only moments earlier had been fighting for other people’s lives.”
Chief Marketing Officer: Brian Deffaa
Director, Marketing Communications and Execution: Jill Bloom
Founder and Chairman: Scott Goodson
Executive Creative Director / Partner: Tyler DeAngelo
Senior Copywriter: Benjamin Wallin
Writer: Jennie Hayes
Creative Director: Mike Cicale
Producer: Venessa Merrin
Head of Business Partnerships: Shana Bellot
Senior Account Director: Chris Belmore
Account Executive: Emily Nelson
Senior Project Manager: Mark Nikaj
Photographer: Joshua Cogan
Videographer: Shane Alcock
Film Editor: Tim Thornton-Allan
Color Mix: Stephen Picano
Senior Producer: Susan Motamed
Assistant Editor: Jean Taylor
Assistant Editor: Chris Walker
Sound Mix: Dan Florsdorf