A new PSA has been released in an effort to encourage men in the US to get vaccinated. While death, long-term respiratory and cardiac illnesses are some of the virus’ biggest dangers, the campaign takes a unexpected approach and instead focuses on recent studies that have found that “men who’ve had Covid are six times more likely to get erectile dysfunction”.
The film features a range of men speaking nostalgically about their first boners and memorable hard-ons until their musings are interrupted by a group of the country’s top urologists presenting them with the hard-hitting, erectile-themed facts. “I would cut off my own dick to protect my future boners!” says SNL alum Tim Meadows, who makes a cameo, at the revelation.
Created by ad agency Quality Meats, the campaign dropped just ahead of National Impotency Month. “We stumbled across this fact and thought, with all the vaccine hesitancy out there, guys need to hear this. Especially younger guys who think they’re not at risk but might be not thinking about the long-term effects,” says Brian Siedband, Quality Meats co-founder and creative director. “Hopefully shining a light on ‘schlong Covid’ will motivate them to reconsider.”
As well as writing and producing the ad, Quality Meats is also behind the creation of the Urologists United for Vaccine Education, the group of doctors who appear in the ad, after realising their idea would need some official backing.
“We originally approached government agencies and brands with the idea, but realised it would be most powerful and credible coming directly from the experts, specifically experts of the penis,” explains Gordy Sang, fellow agency co-founder and creative director. “Knowing it’s a sensitive topic for any traditional organisation, we decided to create one ourselves, contacting urologists one by one. They’re all so passionate about saving penises, it didn’t take much convincing.”
The ad pokes fun at traditional PSAs, but despite the tongue-in-cheek nature, the agency was clear it wanted the film to be based in science, which is why the doctors featured in the ad also helped with gathering information and other urologists. “There are no other people in this world more passionate than this group when it comes to keeping the testicles and penile tissue healthy,” says Dr Amy Pearlman, men’s sexual health specialist and board-certified urologist, who’s featured in the film.
Pearlman also helped Quality Meats gather together the urologists, including Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, one of the urologists whose research on the lingering effects of Covid in the penis was published in the World Journal of Men’s Health.
“I was on board as soon as I heard the idea,” adds Dr. Larry Levine, Professor of Urology at Rush University Medical Center. “Given all the misinformation out there, we’d rather people get facts from us, doctors who’ve devoted their lives to studying the penis, than rumours from Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend in Trinidad.”
Directed by Brad Morris, the film manages to be both disarming and entertaining, while making sure scientific facts back up the hard-hitting truths the campaign lays out.
Agency: Quality Meats
Creative Directors: Gordy Sang, Brian Siedband
Executive Producer: Kacey Hart
Director: Brad Morris
Production Company: The BMP Film Co
Director of Photography: Jon Hamblin
Editor: Grant Gustafson