Publicis Groupe Puts HPV Stigma in the Spotlight With the Help of Michael Douglas

Publicis Groupe Puts HPV Stigma in the Spotlight With the Help of Michael Douglas

News by Anja Paspalj
Published: December 10, 2022

Publicis Groupe has had a successful year. Instead of celebrating their biggest achievements in their end-of-year “Wishes” advertising campaign, they have decided to use their extraordinary platform to get an important message across in 2022.

“Did you know that 80% of adults have the HPV virus?” This is the question that Publicis Groupe’s chief executive Arthur Sadoun poses to his colleague Maurice Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis Groupe, during the “Useful Wishes” campaign.

This unexpected question is brought about out of nowhere, shifting the tone of what was expected to be a lighthearted holiday video. The focus moves to the stigmatization surrounding cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus in both men and women. Despite the availability of a proven and effective vaccine, HPV is still seen as the “silent killer.”.

Touching upon his own experience, this is also a personal topic for Sadoun who was treated for HPV-related cancer earlier this year.

As the spot continues, the Publicis Groupe colleagues are joined by a celebrity guest, who has also leveraged his celebrity to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination against HPV. Actor and film producer Michael Douglas appears on-screen, greeted by a friendly handshake from Sadoun who states “You have always been so transparent about your cancer.”

This is not the first time that Publicis Groupe has harnessed a bit of Hollywood sparkle for their end-of-year video productions, as can be seen when looking back on their “Publicis Wishes 2022” campaign which reimagines old Hollywood films.

However, this is the first time that the glitz-and-glamour effects have been toned down in place of a more powerful message that we hope will resonate far and wide. Despite the seriousness of the topic, the spot retains a cheery tone throughout while reminding viewers to educate themselves on HPV.

In this light, the three Publicis campaign “actors” focus on sending out “useful wishes” to viewers worldwide.

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