US healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has picked Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry to shine a spotlight on mental wellness in its latest spot.
Launching this weekend, the beautifully-shot ad shows how the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player winner handles the stress of driving toward another championship and underlines the firm's commitment to helping patients overcome challenges that aren't necessarily physical.
Created by New York-based agency Translation, the film shows Curry submerging himself in a floatation tank and echoes of his critics bounce around his head. "Can Curry deliver?" they ask – "He's not one of the greats yet."
As he relaxes his mind descends into a visual cacophony of surreal, overwhelming images. Basketball nets stretch into jellyfish-like creature and balls splash into the water violently before he takes a deep breath. A voiceover relays his mantra: "Calm, strong, focused," as we watch him confidently head into the court.
The strapline reads: 'Train the mind. The body will follow'.
"We're moving from being more inspirational around telling people to thrive, to acknowledging that thriving is hard and difficult," Lawrence Montgomery, Kaiser Permanente senior director of national advertising told AdAge.
"That's what you see in Stephen. For the everyday man and woman, being able to relate to that, we think, is powerful. It's not just being about the positive, going out and having fun. We're saying, 'Hey, this is difficult, but there are things you can do to overcome that.'"