Publicis Groupe poised to make Super Bowl history with cancer pledge

Publicis Groupe is quite literally putting its money where its mouth is in regards to its new “Working with Cancer” initiative, announcing the launch of a “global wake-up call” that will see it become the first advertising holding company to run an ad in the Super Bowl.

The holding company today released a new two-minute short called “Monday,” which shows people bravely continuing to work in the face of the immense physical and psychological effects the disease is taking on them. According to reports, the full version of “Monday” will appear online and in cinemas, with a 60-second version running during the Super Bowl (a 30-second spot in advertising’s biggest showcase is rumoured to cost US$7 million).

A Publicis Groupe Canada spokesperson said that the organization will have a presence in the global feed, meaning it won’t be seen by Canadians watching the game on TSN/CTV. However, anyone watching the global feed online will see the spot.

The global campaign is using $100 million in donated media from companies including Disney/ABC, NBCU, Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount, Fox, Roku, Snap, iHeart, Tiktok, YouTube, NCM, Screenvision, Clear Channel, Lamar, Zeta and Meta.

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun introduced “Working With Cancer” at the Word Economic Forum in Davos earlier this month. Inspired by Sadoun’s personal fight with cancer last year, the program is urging companies to sign a pledge to create an “open, supportive and recovery-forward culture” for people with the disease.

The founding partners include some of the biggest brands in the world, including Adobe, Bank of America, Google, L’Oréal, LVMH, McDonald’s, Meta, Microsoft, Nestlé, Pepsico, Toyota, Unilever, Verizon and Walmart, the world’s largest private employer.

“Monday” was directed by Elena Petitti Di Roreto and Martin de Thurah, with many of the crew either cancer survivors and/or caregivers themselves.

“Thanks to the coalition of our partners and the support of the World Economic Forum, Working with Cancer is already positively impacting the lives of 20 million people,” said Sadoun in a statement. “Of course, we will continue to rally more companies to the movement. But just as vital is the role all of us can play by standing with our colleagues with cancer. That is why we are launching a call not only for awareness, but for action from everyone, to create a real cultural shift in the workplace.”

Chris Powell