TV’s Mike Rowe lays it on the line for prostate cancer PSA

San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman has created a two-minute plus public service announcement where US television host Mike Rowe gets an actual prostate exam from his real doctor on camera.

The spot, for non-profit ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, will run on social media beginning October 10. The PSA will live on YouTube and will be shared by ZERO as well as by Rowe, who has millions of social media followers. No media buy is scheduled.

E&K came up with the idea and contacted the spot’s director, Andrew Laurich, a friend of Rowe’s. Rowe was willing and eager to participate because another friend had recently undergone treatment for prostate cancer.

Rowe describes the actual exam as his doctor performs it before concluding that Rowe’s prostate is healthy. The video was shot in the offices of Rowe’s physician Dr Jordan Shlain in Menlo Park, California.

Rowe says: “Like most men, my first prostate exam came a few weeks after a dear friend was diagnosed. His name was Jeff Wilson. Happily, it still is. Jeff is alive and well today because a routine exam revealed an anomaly when he was just 47 years old. It was cancer. They didn’t catch it early, but they caught it in time. Jeff had his prostate removed, and lived to tell the tale.

“Jeff Wilson is the reason I agreed to get my prostate examined on camera. I wanted men to see for real just how fast and simple the process is, and just how critically important early detection can be. But men don’t need a lecture, and the world doesn’t need another PSA filled with sad faces and cello music because lectures, sad faces, and cello music don’t work.

“What works is authenticity, and this is quite possibly the most authentic thing I’ve ever filmed. With a little help from my actual doctor, his actual finger, and my actual rectum, I’m hopeful we can save some actual lives.”

Let’s hope so too.

An object lesson for all good cause and charity advertisers.

MAA creative scale: 9.

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