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SNL Director Injects Honesty into Humorous Erectile Dysfunction Ad

Spot for men's health startup Roman, created by Circus Maximus and produced by Superprime Films and Alpen Pictures, spoofs pharma ad cliches

SNL Director Injects Honesty into Humorous Erectile Dysfunction Ad

This week, men’s health startup Roman launched its first ad campaign, created by NY-based creative agency Circus Maximus, recent winner of AdAge’s Gold Small Agency of the Year award. Roman launched last month with a service to diagnose, prescribe and discreetly deliver erectile dysfunction medication.

The campaign spoofs the pharmaceutical ad cliches of the biggest ED pill brands – featuring a man tossing a football (a nod to Levitra) and couples lounging in separate tubs in the mountains (a Cialis hallmark). However, with unflinching self-awareness, these characters readily admit the “thinly veiled metaphors” they are participating in, revealing the honesty that they - and Roman as a brand - are modelling to viewers for conversations around men’s health.

The campaign titled “Thinly Veiled Metaphors,” aims to fix men’s relationships with their wellness, in doing so it tackles toxic masculinity and provides better, more honest, and complete ways for men to address the issues that affect them, starting with ED. The spots in the campaign are directed by Mike Bernstein, known for directing SNL digital shorts and parodies such as Hillary Campaign Ad and Voters For Trump Ad, for being a go-to director for FunnyOrDie’s branded sketches, and for his comedy-driven spots for MTV, Samsung, Walgreens, and Procter & Gamble. Additionally, the humour in the spots is intended to alleviate the tension of the very personal and often weighty topic by normalising the discussion that men have always felt uncomfortable having. The campaign consists of a two-minute hero spot along with 90, 60, 30, and 15 second cuts airing online and across social platforms.


Agency: Circus Maximus

Chief Creative Officer: Ryan Kutscher

Senior Copywriter: Scott Linnen

Copywriter: Erik Poh

Art Director: Pat Horn

Director of Production: Paul Sutton

Producer: Rael Kenny

Production Company: Superprime Films

Executive Producer - Colleen O’Donnell 

Managing Director - Michelle Ross 

Production Company: Alpen Pictures

Director: Mike Bernstein

Producer: Christian Heuer, Matthew Pittman

Production Supervisor: William Cubbon

DP: Tom Banks

Art: Zach Miller

Stylist: Jordy Scheinberg

Editor: Casey McClelland

Sound Designer: Sean Oakley

Colorist: Trevor Durtshi

Motion Graphics: Big Head

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Category: Beauty/health , Health care

Genre: Action , Comedy , PR , People