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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

September 15, 2022 | 3 min read

AstraZeneca’s ‘Up the antibodies’ sheds light on how the immunocompromised are navigating the pandemic by sharing Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges’s personal story.

Sometimes it takes the words of a famous actor like Jeff Bridges to make the world understand that “not everyone understands what immunocompromised people are going through right now.” Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca aims to change that by emphasizing the many challenges they face in pursuing optimal health.

The Big Lebowski star knows their struggle well, for he dealt with his own trials and tribulations, battling both cancer and Covid-19. “I almost lost it all,“ he recounts in the ad. “My immune system was totally shot. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait around for the worst. You can up your antibodies before Covid comes knocking.“

Edelman, AstraZeneca’s creative agency partner, weaved Bridges’s personal experience into the campaign, while also working with director Scott Cooper and music guru T-Bone Burnett, both of whom worked on Bridges’s 2009 film Crazy Heart. It marks the first project any of them had worked on in the healthcare space.

Authenticity is at the heart of the campaign, so much so that the spots were filmed at Santa Barbara’s botanical gardens – a place Bridges and his wife Susan often visit. The guitar Bridges plays in the spot is from his personal collection and was gifted to him by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne many years ago. Bridges’s wife would even read the script during the writing process to ensure the spot’s dialogue was written in the cadence of his own voice.

“It was an incredibly harmonious set, due in large part to the many chemistry meetings the Edelman creative team had with Jeff,” said Abbie Griffith, general manager and US head of operations, health, and Michelle Tucker, executive vice-president and creative director, Edelman. “From the outset, he was drawn to the creative idea, and the level of detail the team had put toward crafting the campaign around his personality. It set the collaborative tone from the beginning.”

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