Blue Shield of Calif., BSSP, Director Samuel Bayer Get "Tough" For Healthcare Workers


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Apr. 27, 2020


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Working with its agency partner, Butler Shine Stern & Partners (BSSP), Blue Shield of California tapped actual healthcare workers and medical experts within their network to get their perspective, conducting grassroots research and social listening to create a new spot aimed at giving healthcare workers a voice, while saying thank you in the process.

With “stay at home orders” in full effect as BSSP started production, the team had to get creative with their vision to capture images of frontline workers. Coincidently, Sam Bayer, the award-winning director and cinematographer, had taken to the streets of Los Angeles to capture his own first-hand account at the frontline and shared his unique, proprietary work for this project. 

The spot titled “Tough” shines a light on the authentic, mixed emotions of the healthcare community right now: exhaustion, isolation, confusion, anxiety coupled with resilience, bravery and love. The team didn’t shy away from showing the very real, relatable hardships facing frontline workers and wanted the creative execution to match the message--simple, yet poignant. The spot closes out with stoic black and white portraits of real workers making a difference as we speak.

Blue Shield of California has been active in the pandemic fight--from joining forces with California Governor Newsom for a COVID-19 Testing Task Force to waiving fully-insured member out-of-pocket costs, coinsurance, copayments and deductibles for COVID testing and treatment through May 31, 2020, offering virtual care (Teladoc and NurseHelp) at no cost to members through May 31, 2020, and  providing up to $200 million in direct support to healthcare providers and hospitals.


Client Blue Shield of California Agency Butler Shine Stern & Partners (BSSP) John Butler, chief creative officer/chairman; Sinan Dagli, group creative director; Jake Bayhem, strategy director; Lynn Nakamura, art director; Kate Ursu, copywriter; Vince Genovese, executive director of integrated production; Lauren Chatman, associate producer. Production Untethered Content Samuel Bayer, director; Tracie Norfleet, exec producer; Melissa Ross, producer (Melissa Ross & Representatives); Jillian Derenfield, operations director. Postproduction Cleaver Content Jason Apple, editor. Music SOUTH Music

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