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Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Healthcare Commercial

Aug. 2018

Q&A: What Happens When A Healthcare System Hands You A Football Player And Asks You To Create An Ad Campaign?


Last fall, we did a campaign with Saint Thomas Health that’s gained a little love and attention at the ADDYs and TELLYs. So we thought we’d do a little Q&A to give you a closer look at how it all came together.


What was the request made from Saint Thomas Health? What was their goal?

Saint Thomas Health had a partnership contract with Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans that was about to expire. To leverage that to the fullest, they asked FoxFuel to come up with a concept for a TV commercial.

What was the outcome?



What was your initial reaction to that request?

You could say we were excited. Saint Thomas Health has a great reputation and presence in the Middle Tennessee area, but we knew there was an opportunity to evolve it in a creative way, so we were eager to jump in. Also, Marcus Mariota. #nuffsaid


Saint Thomas has a pretty successful history pulling heartstrings with their marketing campaigns. What pulled you to the lighthearted comedic angle?

Historically, large hospital systems focus on episodic, major events like heart attacks, strokes, and cancer treatments as a way to promote their service lines. But day-to-day healthcare is the new battleground for patients. Health systems are moving toward holistic care—investing in clinics and centers to serve every aspect of a person’s health, beyond those crisis episodes to everything from flu shots to sprained ankles.

Saint Thomas has invested in providing that access through both physical locations and digital services significantly in the past five years. We saw this as the perfect opportunity to promote that. And we just really like to make people laugh.



How did you convince the client to pivot? Was there any pushback or apprehension?

They were very receptive. The comedic angle was new for them, we could see the energy and excitement that it brought. We left the initial meeting with the marketing team and they immediately started telling their colleagues about the idea.

By that afternoon, we were getting texts and emails from other departments letting us know how excited they were. That’s always a great sign, right? We knew that they not only trusted us on a strategic level to bring a new layer of personality to the brand but that the concept itself was one that people would naturally want to share. Made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

So the concept is approved, what next? Can you speak to the process a bit?

With the partnership contract expiring and training camp fast approaching, FoxFuel had a little less than two weeks to finalize storyboard and scripting, pull together the casting, find a production partner, scout a location, and bring everything together with Marcus’ hectic schedule. We had one day to shoot and six hours with Marcus. If we didn’t get what we needed in that six hours, we were SOL.

Luckily, he’s the easiest person in the world to work with. Between our team’s prep work and his chill, go-with-the-flow attitude, we wrapped at 5 hours and 59 minutes, which left us just enough time for a group photo.


How did this compare to other spots you’ve done, any pain points or learnings that came out of it?

Make sure the right jersey gets packed. Kind of important when working with a pro football player.

More water and sunblock. We all got sunburned and an intern nearly had a heat stroke—not exactly in line with our effort to avoid the episodic crisis care bit.

The snack runner is the most powerful person on set. Choose them wisely.



Check out the official case study.

See the final commercial


Wanna learn more about our process?

Hit Us Up

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