AstraZeneca taps hard-hitting NHL star for cancer screening push

AstraZeneca has tapped an ice hockey player who knows a thing or two about checking for the latest spin on its NHL-partnered “Get Body Checked Against Cancer” campaign. The hard-hitting New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba is fronting the campaign with his mother, Kristy, to encourage cancer screening.

The 60-second TV spot starts with footage of Trouba skating and shouting during a game, followed by a series of clips of the New York Rangers star and other NHL players landing big hits on their opponents. 

Trouba talks over the clips, saying: “You know the impact a body check can have. It can change the momentum of a whole game. It can help you stay in control and help you turn things in your favor, on and off the ice.” As Trouba finishes his soliloquy on body checking, the camera pulls back to show the back of the NHL player’s head as he watches the clips on TV with his mother. 

Someone off screen calls “Trouba,” prompting both family members to get up, turn around and walk toward the camera. The Rangers captain then pivots the ad from hockey to health, explaining that “while a well-timed check can save a game, a well-timed body check can save your life.”

Trouba and his mother then advise viewers to talk to their doctors about their risk factors and available cancer screenings as well as to encourage someone they love to start the conversation. The TV ad ends with the two Troubas in a physician’s office, where the NHL player says “it’s time to make the ultimate defensive play and get body checked against cancer,” name-checks AstraZeneca and directs viewers to a website.  

The cancer screening awareness ad builds on AstraZeneca’s earlier work with the NHL. In November, the drugmaker partnered with the NHL to encourage people to gauge risk factors, arrange screenings, make donations and educate loved ones—a set of actions that spell out GAME. AstraZeneca launched its “Get Body Checked” website earlier this year to encourage people to ask doctors about cancer screenings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports screening for breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancers, a set of diseases that overlaps with the approved indications of AstraZeneca’s arsenal of oncology drugs. HER2 antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu is one of a clutch of AstraZeneca drugs that are approved in forms of breast and lung cancers.