Zocdoc Invites American Workers Everywhere to Take an ‘Unsick Day’ for Their Health

Don't skip routine checkups

Feeling a tad unsick today? Well, don't come in to work … but feel free to spread it around.

Healthcare scheduling service Zocdoc is proposing Unsick Day—a day off each year for workers to attend routine doctor and dentist appointments, before they start feeling poorly. This preventative health push stems from a recent Zocdoc survey that found 86 percent of working Americans routinely cancel or delay such visits because of job responsibilities.

"This is not so much an ad campaign as it is a public service," says Nathan Frank, chief creative officer at agency Office of Baby, which developed the initiative. "Zocdoc does benefit when people start seeing the doctor regularly—but so do the people who start seeing the doctor, the businesses that employ them, and everybody else involved."

Virgin Hotels, Foursquare, Oscar and Handy are on board with the idea and granting unsick days to employees, according to the agency, which launched a website allowing interested companies and individuals to get involved.

"The barrier to entry is very low," says Frank. "The easiest, quickest way for a company to implement this is to simply convert one of your sick days to an unsick day. We don't see why every workplace in America wouldn't adopt such a policy."

So … workers won't get an extra day off? It's all a matter of terminology? The HR department wins again! (Actually, Zodoc itself is adding an extra unsick day, and hopes others will follow its example.)

In this campaign video, which almost feels like a Halloween ad, an employee takes an unsick day, but still interacts in ghostly fashion with colleagues back at the office:

Hey, that coffee mug was company property! Someone's getting docked for that! (Probably James, the screamer. Dude, you never heard a disembodied voice in the break room before?)

"Featuring a spokesperson who is not there has its challenges," says Frank. "Our only reference points were movies like Hollow Man, where they would usually at least leave some floating sunglasses to indicate where the protagonist is supposed to be. In most scenarios, we had nothing. When we saw the footage, we were partly shocked it worked. When the camera moves just as it would if there were a spokesperson present, you really start to feel that there is somebody there. We are thinking of shooting everything using this method in the future—as the acting is always perfect."

Cute campaign chachkies include workplace staples like screensavers, pens, notepads, sticky-notes, lunch bags, hand sanitizers and stress balls (but not actual staples).

Check out those elements below, plus posters that seem to be missing something:


Agency: Office of Baby

Art Director: Kelsey Shang

Art Director: Esai Ramirez

Copywriter: Nechama Muchnik

Chief Creative Officers: Paul Caiozzo, Nathan Frank


Production Company: Gravy Films

Executive Producer: Brent Stoller

Producer: Francesco Soru

Director of Photography: Justin Derry

Production Designer: Nick Tong

Director: Crobin

Audio: youtoocanwoo

Logo + Titles: Franklin

Design: Kenneth Lian Animation – Maud Passini

Art Direction: Michael Freimuth

Post Production: MPC

Head of Production: Jesse Kurnit

VFX Supervisor: Aleksandar Sahsha Djordvecic

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Alex Liu

Producer: Lisa Barnable

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.