123w makes a black & white case for Caribbean medical school St. George’s University

Who: St. George’s University Medical School, One Twenty Three West (123w), Boldly Creative (production)

What: “Be Unstoppable,” a new digital campaign targeting would-be Canadian medical students. The spot was shot on location at the school’s campus in The Caribbean and in Toronto, using a combination of actors and actual St. George’s students.

When/where: The 90-second spot debuted Jan.  28 on digital channels.

Why: Only about 16% of the applicants to Canadian medical schools are accepted, meaning that many look outside Canada—to markets including the U.S., Europe, Australia and The Caribbean—for their education. According to one study, as many as 3,500 Canadians study medicine abroad in any given year.

The black and white: The spot was shot entirely in black and white (for you lens-heads out there, they used Panavision C Series Anamorphic Lenses) to create a cinematic look that is decidedly not the norm for medical school advertising. It eschewed shots of happy, smiling students in favour of imagery showing how gruelling medical school can be. It was directed by Andrew DeZen, whose reel also includes work for SiriusXM and IBM.

Did you know: There are currently more than 1,600 Canadian St. George’s University graduates practicing medicine, both in Canada and around the world.

And we quote: The decision to shoot in black and white was made at the beginning of creative process, says 123w founder Scot Keith. “We wanted to make sure that the beautiful location didn’t distract from how professional this program actually is,” he said. “St. George’s University Medical School may be in the Caribbean, but it’s just as intense as anywhere else.”

Chris Powell