Although medical commercials are pretty common during TV breaks, there is no denying that there is a certain area which can be a taboo, and even considered a bit rough. Despite being more frightening, this kind of commercials usually brings a more deep and powerful message compared to the regular ones by trying to push viewers to make an appointment to see their doctor for a routine check and quit asking Google what’s wrong with them.

Therefore, the largest cancer charity in U.K., Cancer Research UK , in collaboration with Channel 4, broadcasted an advert that some just wouldn’t expect to see on TV: a live transmission of a  colonoscopy. Called “Live from the Inside”, which first aired as a teaser trailer break ad, and later on 18th January as a 90-second TV spot, it managed to show a real-life colonoscopy procedure during which viewers could observe a removal of bowel polyps.

The procedure was performed by Doctor Sunil Dolwani at Cardiff and Vale University, on patient Philip McSparron as part of his routine bowel cancer screening program. “I didn’t have any symptoms and wouldn’t have thought of doing it if it wasn’t for my brother being diagnosed with bowel cancer,” declared Phil.

The main idea of this TV spot was to highlight the importance of periodic health checks, in order to prevent bowel cancer from developing. Executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, Ed Aspel said: “Broadcasting Philip’s colonoscopy live gives us the opportunity to show one of the many people across the UK who is benefitting from procedures that wouldn’t be possible without research. We want viewers to join us to experience the unique insight of seeing live inside the human body, and witness a procedure that can actually prevent cancer from developing.”

WARNING: Please be aware that the video contains graphic medical content!

Created by advertising agency Anomaly London, and directed by award winning TV director Tony Gregory, the TV spot represents a unique opportunity for the viewers to watch how this procedure is done: “By allowing my colonoscopy to be shown live, I hope to show that it’s a simple procedure, not something to be frightened of,” adds patient Phil.

Being part of the charity’s “Right Now” campaign that was launched on Boxing Day, this ad is the latest work of the agency within said campaign, and its basic idea is to show that cancer research has had a positive impact on preventing the disease from spreading.

The New York-based advertising agency is also responsible for a TV spot with a similar strong message that was created for the number one selling blended Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker. The campaign followed the famous tag #KeepWalkingAmerica, through which it encouraged people to push their limits, break barriers and keep on walking no matter what.

We also reported in July last year, how Cancer Research UK cooperated with advertising agency Atomic London and creative studio Rushes to create a beautiful virtual reality garden to pay tribute and thank over 100,000 people who have kindly left a donation in their will to the charity.


Agency: Anomaly

Production Company: Sassy films

Executive producers: Nicholas Lazarus, Guy Martin

Producer: Tom Stevens

Director: Tony Gregory