Mike Rowe Offers Live Commentary on His Own Prostate Exam in This Eye-Opening PSA

A very real exam from a very real doctor

Mike Rowe gets comfy for his exam. ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer
Headshot of Shannon Miller

If you really take a moment to think about it, the amount of sound medical advice that many adults commonly ignore is a bit alarming. Men, in particular, are encouraged to partake in routine prostate exams, as 1 in every 9 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Though these exams are essential for possible early detection, some men require a bit of an extra push.

To show men just how easy it is to advocate for their own prostate health, ad agency Erich & Kallman worked with non-profit organization Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer to created a two-minute PSA in which TV host Mike Rowe speaks to men about the importance of routine exams … while getting an exam of his own.

That’s right, viewers get to witness Mike Rowe get a “very real” rectal exam from his very real doctor.

The spot opens with Rowe casually resting on an examination table in a fluffy robe, akin to how one would relax in a luxurious spa. Before he tackles the subject at hand, there is a disclaimer assuring viewers that the following events are, in fact, real. As he relays what he’s learned about the prevalence of prostate cancer and the necessity of preventative care, Rowe’s doctor—who he discovered “likes to wear two gloves”—enters the frame.

That’s when we learn that Rowe is not merely lounging around. He’s there to receive a prostate exam, right in front of the camera.

The event is, of course, somewhat shocking, but it is also quick. And aside from some mild discomfort, Rowe and his doctor are able to carry on a pleasant conversation about his good health, the effectiveness of blood tests, and the doctor’s preference for rectal exams. By the end, any excuse to not get a quick, reasonably painless routine exam seems fruitless. There’s even a moment after the director yells “cut!” where we see the men laughing and joking.

If this method seems a little extreme, there’s an excellent reason for that.

“I wanted men to see—for real—just how fast and simple the process is, and just how critically important early detection can be,” Rowe explained. “But men don’t need a lecture, and the world doesn’t need another PSA filled with sad faces and cello music because lectures, sad faces, and cello music don’t work. What works is authenticity, and this is quite possibly the most authentic thing I’ve ever filmed.”

The spot will be made available on YouTube and social media. And honestly, if a man getting his prostate checked in front of millions doesn’t drive the importance of proper health care home, then what will?


Agency: Erich & Kallman
Production Company: ContagiousLA
Director: Andrew Laurich
DP: Scott Uhlfelder
EP: Natalie Sakai
Producer: Hannah Rome
Colorist: Stephen Derluguian
Audio Mix: Barking Owl
Mixer: Matt Keith
Music: Haystack Music
Track: “Your Smile is the Sun” by Andrew Sherman
Music Supervisor: Ryan Alons
Executive Producer: Ian Jeffreys

Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: October 10, 2018 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/mike-rowe-offers-live-commentary-on-his-own-prostate-exam-in-this-eye-opening-psa/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT