Doctors Fly Through the Air. That's a Good Thing?

Village Medical and Deutsch N.Y. aim higher

Up and down, round and round they go—healthcare professionals whisked by hydraulics from one examination room to another, or spinning on carousels, never stopping long enough for a proper consultation.

Deutsch N.Y.'s dystopian romp for VillageMD's Village Medical primary care system captures the Orwellian, industrial vibe of going to the doctor. It's an instantly relatable notion, dynamically realized by director Patrick Daughters and the VFX wizards at Artjail.

Naturally, the Walgreens-backed brand emerges as an enlightened alternative to the wellness production line.

Village Medical | Factory
Village Medical | Pharmacy

We get dystopia-light with a pinch of camp. That's a compelling approach, similar to Tangerine Bank's "Jumping Through Hoops," but much less nightmarish. (Artjail worked on that one, too. Thanks, Big Brothers!)

"We created a campaign that lets patients know we have a better solution for them with personalized, coordinated care," says Ellen Donahue-Dalton, CMO of VillageMD. 

Bright endings promise that Village Medical physicians lead dedicated care teams for patients. "You get their time. You get their attention. You get the help you need," the ad says.

That's succinctly stated, but "The New Way to Well" feels too generic as a tag, like something from an automated ad factory. To be fair, it's tough to encapsulate big concepts. (We sure won't any prizes for this post's headline!)

Overall, this is superior work that memorably states its case. It doesn't oversell or get bogged down in minutiae or jargon.

Plus, those airborne MDs are a sick metaphor. In the good way.

"We knew we had an opportunity to stand out visually," agency CD Jeff Kopay tells Muse. "The factory was a way for us to portray the entire healthcare system as a complex assembly line where patients aren't getting the time and attention they deserve. We referenced the movie Brazil quite a bit early on—a place where forms and procedures become more important than people."

The name's "Kopay." And he works on a healthcare account. Moving right along...

Bringing the creative vision to life took extra effort—and some physical risks were involved.

"Anytime you're suspending your cast from harnesses 40 feet off the ground using mechanical pulleys, it can get a little hairy," Kopay says. "But we had an amazing team that pulled it off," combing CGI and IRL effects. 

"(Artjail) created this massive, complicated system of overhead tracks that conveyed providers from room to room," he recalls. "And Division, the production company, built these tremendous sets from scratch, letting us shoot as much as we could practically. It definitely was not an easy feat, and I was super excited to see how it turned out. Sometimes you just have to trust the process."

It's all intended to reach an audience that "relies heavily on different healthcare providers and needs to see them quite frequently," he says. "They've all experienced a system that rewards efficiency over humanity. Doctors being whisked away from their patients before they've had a chance for any meaningful interaction really resonated with them. We wanted to make sure the consumer understood Village Medical provides a deeper doctor-patient relationship, built entirely around the patient's needs."

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