Sportscasters simulate play-by-play calls to help people dodge bad food choices

Stand Up To Cancer PSA campaign by Wondros takes a light approach to deliver a somber message.

Everyone knows that eating well and drinking wisely help pave the road to good health, but few campaigns make this advice as palatable as Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) does in a new PSA campaign, Making the Healthy Call.

The PSAs skip the admonishments and take a more lighthearted approach to making good choices. The spots use seasoned sports stars and sports commentators, such as former professional basketball player Charles Barkley, to target people — men in particular — about healthy lifestyles and maintaining routine cancer screenings.

The broadcast PSA concept features a man rummaging through his kitchen on a midnight snack run. He maneuvers with the skillset of a running back to brush by the candy jar and a plate of cookies to settle on a piece of fruit. He opens the fridge, dodges a blockade of soda and reaches for a bottle of water instead.

The PSAs feature play-by-play voice-overs by CBS sportscasters James Brown and Bill Cowher. Companion digital ads feature Barkley, Brown, Cowher and sportscaster Ernie Johnson. Given all these announcers’ broadcast ties across CBS and Turner Sports’ TNT, the campaign is airing on those outlets. 

Wondros, a global creative agency that works for societal concerns such as Open Society and PETA, produced the spots prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Wondros tapped a director affiliated with sister agency, Wondros Collective: Lee Farber, who is known for comedic shows, including The Soup, to lighten the message. 

The point of Making the Health Call, which is co-sponsored by digital healthcare specialist Rally Health, is to get people back in front of doctors for routine cancer screenings, which many delayed during the lockdown. 

Additional print PSAs also direct people to commit to get screened and take a pledge at an informational website set up for the campaign, Take A Healthy Stand. New spots are planned for 2021.

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