Ad Age Stays Home


Nail Communications spot pitches ‘StayingHome™’ like a drug—though this time, the side effects aren’t unwanted


Ethan Jakob Craft 

Published On

Jan 12, 2024



A woman on a couch looking ill

Editor’s Pick

Ads for prescription and over-the-counter medicines are ubiquitous on American TV, and at the height of flu season—which is currently being compounded by another wave of COVID-19 infections—they may seem especially prominent.

But in a new public service campaign, the Rhode Island Department of Health is putting its own spin on the classic drug commercial genre, stepping up to promote a remedy so simple that it’s often overlooked—staying home when you’re ill.

The humorous spot contains all the hallmarks of a typical drug ad: authoritative narration, bubbly music and B-roll of people either suffering from symptoms or living a healthy active life.

But after the voiceover warns of common symptoms such as chills and stuffiness, it suggests viewers try StayingHome™, trademark symbol and all, an all-ages solution to illness. Side effects include naps, comfy sweatpants and “finishing that show you’ve been meaning to watch.”

The spot even gives a subtle nod to official drug nomenclature, underwriting the StayingHome™ logo with its comically formal name: “Si Infirmum Manere Domi Meliorem Mox,” which is Latin for “If you’re sick, stay at home and get better soon.”

The campaign was created by independent Rhode Island agency Nail Communications.

Stephen Fitch, Nail’s strategy director, said the agency had to calculate how to resonate with a COVID-fatigued public that’s been bombarded by public health PSAs for nearly four years. In his view, such messages have lately “hit the wall of a population that is ‘over it.’”

The campaign gave the team a chance to “have a lot of fun parodying the genre and featuring some of the most enjoyable side effects you can have,” added Alec Beckett, a creative partner at the Providence shop.

The 30-second spot is running on connected TV and social video in Rhode Island.