health care


Pharma Ad Parody Prescribes Novel Remedy: Staying Home



To reduce the spread of infectious respiratory diseases like COVID and the flu this winter, the Rhode Island Department of Health is urging the state’s residents to stay home when they’re sick -- via a satirical paid ad campaign running on connected TV, out-of-home and social media.

The campaign, created by Nail Communications, is highlighted by a clever and humorous parody of prescription drug commercials.

The :30 video shows a woman lying in bed with a cloth over her forehead and a man blowing his nose into a tissue, while a female voice asks, “Are you tired, chilly, having trouble breathing through your nose?”

“Maybe it’s time to try StayingHome,” she answers, as that fictional product’s name appears on-screen, complete with a trademark symbol and its fictional tagline (“Si Infurnum Manere Domi Melioren Max -- which is Latin for “If you're sick, stay at home and get better soon) and dosage (“0 mg”).



As a woman opens her curtains to let the sun in, the voiceover continues with “StayingHome has been proven effective to aid in the recovery of illness while preventing its transmission to others.”

The scene then shifts to a couple and their child playing outside in the snow as a man says, “With StayingHome, I was able to rest up and get back to the things I love to do” (the man is then shown doing yoga with his dog) while the subtitle shifts to “10 out of 10 dogs recommend StayingHome™”).

Then come the disclaimers, both voiced and shown as subtitles while the video depicts now-smiling patients: “Side effects of staying home include protecting grandmas, healthy coworkers, comfy sweatpants, finishing that show you've been meaning to watch. Oh and naps.”

The final graphic includes a StayingHome logo and a serious subtitle: “Most workers in Rhode Island are entitled to sick leave under the law. Staying home when sick helps you recover and prevents spreading viruses.”

The spot is so, well spot-on, that an observer might think Nail Communications has experience with prescription drug ads. Not so, the agency tells Marketing Daily, but it has been working for the Rhode Island Department of Health for several years, including a campaign encouraging flu shots and a very serious spot promoting Naloxone for opioid overdoses.

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