Mayo Clinic Visualizes Peace of Mind in Ad Voiced by Viola Davis

A vivid illustration of a patient's mental journey

In its latest campaign, voiced by Viola Davis, the Mayo Clinic delivers a stunning visual representation of a human mind fraught with fear and anxiety.

"The unknown is not empty. It's a storm that crashes and consumes, replacing thought with worry," the Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner begins in a 30-second spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.

On screen, a squall of angst rages, as synapses flash with bolts of ragged energy inside an increasingly distressed brain:

Mayo Answers - You Know Where To Go

"One thing can calm uncertainty: an answer, uncovered through exploration, teamwork and innovation. An answer that leads to even more answers," Davis concludes, as the visual tempest subsides into a soothing display of color and light.

Psyop director Shane Griffin—a master of optical dynamics in ads for ALA and Ecobee—crafted Mayo's hypnotic voyage, called "You Know Where to Go," through imaging software and 3-D modeling based on actual MRI scans.

"What we are showing is how the unknown puts the brain into a frenzy, and only an answer can calm the brain," TBWA\C\D NY executive creative director Walt Connelly tells Muse. "When people come to the Mayo Clinic, they are provided with an answer that is based in science and fact. They get an accurate diagnosis. And that provides peace of mind, no matter what the answer is."

Now, that'll make you think.

Given the current assault on scientific rigor from some quarters amid the pandemic—we're looking at you, POTUS45—the approach provides a timely reminder that rigorous research and testing usually yield the best long-term outcomes.

"In the execution, we didn't want to fall into the convention of showing doctors in white coats and researchers in labs with beakers," Connelly says. "We wanted to go deeper than that and show the thought process that a patient goes through."

Indeed, human systems provide a rich canvas for health and wellness campaigns, with Droga5's biometric foray for supplements maker Thorne severing as another stimulating example.

In the Mayo spot, Davis provides the perfect counterpoint to the brain's initial violent activity, her smooth, assured tones taming errant ideas and misconceptions.

"Viola was the first celebrity we thought of for this film," Connelly says. "She has a very authentic voice with gravitas and humanity built into it. I just talked about the meaning of the film and then let her go. And to be honest, her first read was perfect."

The work will run online through December, with a digital out-of-home presence in markets near Mayo Clinic locations:


Mayo Clinic | The Power of Answers Production Credits

"The Power of Answers" :30

Mayo Clinic
Sherri Gilligan, Chief Marketing Officer 
Molly Biwer, Division Chair, Brand Strategy and Creative Studio at Mayo Clinic
Wes Weleczki, Executive Creative Director at Mayo Clinic
Anna Stassen , Senior Creative Director at Mayo Clinic
Jeff Warnock, Director Brand Strategy at Mayo Clinic
Chastity Kessler, Manager Brand Strategy at Mayo Clinic
Lauren Spiceland, Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic
Gary Stinnett, Marketing Manager, Mayo Clinic Health System at Mayo Clinic

Chris Beresford-Hill, Chief Creative Officer
John Doris, Head of Integrated Production
Walter Connelly, Executive Creative Director 
Shannon Murphy, Associate Creative Director
Alli Walker, Associate Copywriter
Royston Ang, Senior Art Director
Ashley Veltre, Associate Creative Director/Art Director 
Holden Rasche,  Associate Creative Director/Copywriter
Belen Aragon, Associate Art Director
Ruganzu "Riggs" Howard, Senior Producer
Shannon Nunn, Business Lead
Rosalie Jones, Business Director
Emily Downs, Business Manager
John Gibson, Executive Strategy Director
Nus Madraswala, Strategy Director
Carlin Dixon, Strategist
Thalia Tsouros, Director of Integrated Business Affairs
Anne-Camille Charpie, Integrated Business Affairs Manager
Ashden Hill, Communications
Rob Schwartz, CEO
Nancy Reyes, President

Psyop (Production Co)
Shane Griffin, Director
Andrew Linsk, Executive Producer
Angela Foster, Senior Producer

Wave - (Audio)
Chris Afzal, Audio Engineer
Vicky Ferraro, Executive Producer

Human (Music)
James Dean Wells, Executive Producer
Mike Jurasits, Creative Lead
Ed Dunne, Composer
Jonathan Hubbell, Additional Arranging
Mike Jurasits & Daryl Pinsdorf, Sound Design

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