Loved ones' anxiety and hopes intertwine in this unconventional healthcare campaign from the Mayo Clinic

Understated 'Journey to Certainty' campaign captures emotion in the face of patient diagnosis

Published On
Mar 14, 2019

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A young man and his father embark on a road trip, a husband and wife take a train journey, a woman makes sure to bring her lucky hat before she heads out on a trek with a friend. It’s not clear where any of them are going--the loved ones barely exchange a word as they pack up to go, make rest stops or gaze at the sea or out of windows. However, their thoughtful interactions—an embrace, a pat on the back, heartfelt glances—betray they’re all on an important journey, and something significant, perhaps life-changing, hangs in the balance.

When they finally reach their destination, the Mayo Clinic, all becomes clear.

Three new films from the academic medical institution, known for its high-end, holistic care, strip away the cliches of hospital marketing—like patient testimonials and doctors in lab coats--to recognize the emotional journey patients take as they prepare to get a diagnosis. They highlight how answers--and hope--are to be found at the Mayo Clinic. 

The campaign, titled “Journey to Certainty,” is the institution’s first work from TBWA/Chiat/Day New York. Directed by Frederic Planchon, with a delicate score from Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Babel”), the 60-second ads are artfully restrained, keeping viewers curious and invested until the spots’ final scenes. The effort also includes an extended version on the father-and-son ad, "Road Trip," which becomes even more heart-wrenching once you know where it's headed. 

The ads aim to underscore Mayo Clinic’s reputation for providing definitive answers and comprehensive care for its patients. According to a study by the organization, about 88% of those who go there for second or third opinions receive a new or refined diagnosis.

“With realistic characters and relationships, viewers can see themselves in these scenarios, and realize they too can embark on their own journey to certainty, should they face a serious and complex health challenge,” said Stephen Cassivi, M.D., medical director for brand strategy at Mayo Clinic in a statement.


Mar 14, 2019
Client :
Mayo Clinic
Agency :
TBWA/Chiat/Day-New York
Director :
Frederic Planchon
Composer :
Gustavo Santaolalla

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