Ad Critique: Male nurse featured in Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future commercial

This commercial is one in a series from Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future, which aims to promote nursing as a career choice. Of the three commercials, it’s the only one that features a male nurse.

Maybe we could view it as aiming to reconstruct masculinity and changing our view of nursing as a feminine profession. Male nurses who commented on YouTube did appreciate this video. However, given its placement during shows like Grey’s Anatomy that appeal more to women, perhaps this commercial’s intended audience is women.

Instead of challenging gender expectations, it almost assumes feminine values to appeal to women. The commercial uses an emotional appeal, presenting the nurse as gentle and warm. The nurse sings a song while administering the injection to the patient.

Also, choosing the patient to be a young girl instead of a boy might also be an appeal to women. The girl wears a head cover that’s pastel yellow with purple dots. She draws and hangs her pictures of butterflies on the wall. And while drawings and bright colors appeal to all kids, having a young boy as a patient and showing an almost “older brother” relationship between him and the nurse might’ve appealed more to a male audience.


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