Which health and wellness ads won the Big Game?

Jack Health Blog

February 14th, 2024 By

The biggest event on the sporting calendar happened in the U.S. this past weekend and brands of all types showed up vying for consumers’ attention. And why not, it offers an incredible platform, on the biggest stage, by which to tell your story to an audience you may not normally get access to. But that stage isn’t cheap and every second counts.  

Our Jack Health and Jack 39 teams broke down their favorite health and wellness ad spots from this weekend’s Big Game and what made them champions!  

Nigel Downer, Head of Jack Health, U.S. 

Healthcare brands are taking center stage at some of the biggest pop culture moments of the year and rightfully soIn a macro environment that is marked by increasing polarization, healthcare brands have a responsibility to lean in, be brave, and demonstrate purpose. Let the world know what you stand for. Through that lens, Dove and Pfizer both knocked it out of the park this year. 

Ashley Brantman, Co-Head of Jack 39, U.S. 

“Brands can transcend the Big Game if they develop an approach that allows them to build up to or cascade down from the game… Often it’s the digital extensions or IRL activations that help build engagement and extend the window to capitalize on the excitement around the game! 

Take MangoRx, who probably had the most unconventional of all the campaigns, offering a discounted, one-year supply of its erectile dysfunction (ED) pills for fans of the losing team so they could “still get sacked after the game.” Queue all the lack of performance and scoring jokes you can possibly think of. They paired their “provocative” and “cheeky” campaign with multiple Barstool Sports events throughout Las Vegas over the weekend to hit a high-value audience that they knew would be receptive of their humorous message.”  

Chris Bachler, Business Development Director 

Brand collaborations are everywhere this year, but you don’t see health and wellness brands getting in on the action as often. Tums and Draft Kings came together as the most unexpected pairing on the Ad Meter this year. But, as we’ve learned over the years, when it comes to sports betting, the weirder the bet, the more people want in. The brands paired to launch “Tums Prop Bites,” a play on prop bets, which encouraged fans to pick which foods are most popular across the country for a chance to win a share of the $10,000 prize pool.  

Beyond the commercial, they paired it with digital, social, and experiential elements, including a live experience – Tums Prop Bites Food Casino at Circa Stadium Swim in Vegas, a few days before the game.  This is exactly what modern brand experiences should be – going beyond the ad itself to create fluid omni-channel experiences for people across live and virtual platforms.  

Patrick Heffernan, SVP Group Strategy Director and Co-Head of Jack 39, U.S.

“Emotion wins the Big Game ad battle – evoking laughter, tears, nostalgia or even anger helps the message stick. Cetaphil won the heartfelt tears category and perfectly captured how Taylor Swift’s influence made football a dad-daughter bonding moment. Even a dad of all boys (like this one) felt a tug of the heartstrings. And they did it without needing rights, through use of red/white jersey and the number 13 – very smart! 

Healthcare brands should absolutely be at the Big Game, as it is a rare stage to speak to a huge audience that looks like America – genders, ethnicity, age, income, etc. But don’t just talk at America (I am looking at you Power to the Patients), engage them and make them feel your message. But recognize that simplicity matters. Ads are part of the party. They should create moments worth talking about, laughing about, and connecting over. 

Jamey Hardesty, MPH, SVP, Scientific and Healthcare Strategy

“I LOVE when healthcare brands insert themselves into broader culture to captivate and entertain, but then take that platform to land a message that stops you wherever you’re standing. The Pfizer ad did this brilliantly, with singing art and dancing statues, landing on the moment a child “rings the bell” to mark the moment they beat their cancer.  

It’s a moment millions of families around this country know, and yet millions of others will never get the chance to. Pfizer showed the power of transcending time and discovery to cut through to what truly matters – the moment of victory over cancer. Incredible stuff on one of the world’s biggest stages.”

Camryn Schaap, Marketing Director

“One brand this year that I think tapped the internet correctly was skincare brand, CeraVe. Rather than forcing a trending internet joke, they created their own. They used the right TikTokers and the right celebrity, rather than aiming for the trendiest influencers with the most followers.  

I had seen their campaign on my FYP but there was not even a hint that they were building up to a Big Game commercial. So, when it aired on TV, it caught my attention immediately. The social campaign was great, but surprisingly the commercial stood completely on its own. It had the same running joke and tone as the social campaign, but it did not call it out specifically. It was oddly refreshing.” 

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