#Unmissable: Stephen Hawking on Obesity

Introducing the #Unmissable series, a key exploration in blog format focusing on what makes for truly creative, immersive experiences. With #Unmissable, I aim to champion and highlight the most exciting and engaging work discovered online and interconnect those with great ideas to those who are seeking them.

Why? Because I passionately believe that creative inspiration is for everyone.

In this instalment, we take a closer look at how creativity and inspiration can almost magically combine at a level both intricate and subliminal to genuinely cut through to an audience and convey a crucial message in a way that’s startlingly original, ground-breaking and even uplifting in a fresh new way.

Take, for instance, a new ad launched by Gothenburg-based advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors, featuring the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. The agency was commissioned by Swedish health organisation Gen-Pep to bring home the troubling truth around the health impacts of obesity — in many respects, a most pressing medical and lifestyle concern most Western countries are at present desperately trying to manage. “Physical inactivity is now the fourth leading cause of death in the world,” according to Gen-Pep.

For more information, visit gen-pep.se

In this remarkable TV commercial directed by Joachim Back from US-based production and management company Anonymous Content for Forsman & Bodenfors, Hawking — who has previously appeared in ads for betting firm Paddy Power and has also performed as a British villain in a commercial for luxury car brand Jaguar — delivers a stern warning abound the dangers of physical inactivity and the link to the rapidly growing problem of obesity.

The ad itself is intriguing from a creative and inspirational viewpoint for a number of reasons. Firstly, the juxtaposition between Hawking’s own iconic physical impairment, which has him confined to a wheelchair, and his call for people to urgently ramp up their physical activity is striking.

Warning the viewer that too many people currently are dying from complications related to being overweight or obese, Hawking says: “For what it’s worth, our being sedentary has become a major health problem is beyond my understanding.”

Chapeau, to everyone one who worked on this advert; the message is instantly clear. We eat too much and move too little. The solution, Hawking tells us, is simple. We need to eat less and move more.

In the words of the world famous cosmologist: “It’s not rocket science.”


Marco Lemcke is a London-based, interdisciplinary Creative, who works on various projects for both traditional advertising- and digital-agencies, as well as individual clients. Find out more at: www.marcolemcke.com