When did health care get so … sexy? With a story arc fit for a Netflix rom-com, advertising’s geeky stepchild has officially transformed into the belle of the ball. A lush wonderland of opportunity for life-changing ideas, built-in emotion and eye-catching craft—health care has become one of the most desired gigs in all of advertising. And as the pandemic puts a spotlight on the most valuable thing people have—their health—it has become more attractive than ever.
Three of the major holding companies recently reported steep losses in second-quarter earnings across the board, but health care has been a glaring exception. As a result, agencies say, health care is one of the few categories that has continued to invest in advertising during the pandemic. Frank Mazzola, co-global chief creative officer of 21GRAMS, and Darielle Ruderman, consumer marketing director at GSK, join Ad Age President and Publisher Josh Golden to discuss how the pandemic has created a massive shift in the ad industry’s resources and creativity—as well as the huge challenges and opportunities such a sea change represents for agencies and brands.