While bunions — painful bumps that form at the base of the big toe — may be unpleasant to talk about, this year’s The Bachelor star Joey Graziadei admitted to having them.

Given Graziadei’s openness about his health condition, 21Grams, part of Real Chemistry, decided to pounce on the opportunity. 

Its The Future You campaign about bunions launched as a TV spot that aired alongside The Bachelor season finale this week to raise awareness about lapiplasty, a corrective procedure for bunions.

For those who aren’t familiar, bunions occur when bones in the foot move out of place, leading the joint of the big toe to push out. They can be caused by arthritis or by wearing tight, narrow shoes.

The campaign, developed for medical device company Treace, aims to familiarize viewers with lapoplasty — a procedure that not many people know about, according to Chris Charles, executive creative director at 21Grams.

“It’s a pretty hard word to say,” Charles admitted. “That was the genesis of the idea — it’s like, ‘OK, we have to say this word. It’s hard to say, but it’s kind of fun to hear. It’s for bunions and it’s painful — but it has a humorous connotation to it, too. So how do we embrace that?’”

The 30-second TV spot shows a woman at a nail salon about to get a pedicure — but she experiences pain in her feet from bunions.

“I have bad bunions. I wish they’d disappear,” she states in the video. Shortly after, a voice whispering “lapiplasty” can be heard. The woman then sees a future version of herself sitting next to her at the salon — happier and without bunions.

“Lapiplasty corrects bunions at the source, meaning you’re back in sneakers in weeks,” a doctor explains. 

The video then directs people to the website, Lapiplasty.com.

“We knew we wanted something funny and that would stand out [compared to] other healthcare advertising,” Charles said. “That led us to our lapiplasty The Future You campaign, where someone with bunions wishes they didn’t have them. Their future self shows up in an awkward situation and tells them they got rid of their bunions in weeks. It’s an offbeat creative.”

Part of leaning into the humorous aspect of the idea meant finding the right director to work with. 

The team’s first choice was Harold Einstein — who’s known for his TV commercial work for Geico, Kayak and Twix. Charles referred to Einstein as a “legend” in the advertising world.

“He had never done a healthcare advertising spot before,” Charles explained. “So when we made our pitch, we thought, ‘It’s got to be funny and offbeat. It’s got to feel true and authentic to the audience and to his style of creating ads.’”

The commercial caters primarily to women between the ages of 30 and 50, who are more likely to develop bunions than men. 

The team also made sure to launch the commercial at the same time the season finale of The Bachelor aired.

“Talk about an amazing play and placement, because we all know the demographic skews high with women watching The Bachelor,” Charles said. “It was a smart move to get that spot during that time because it’s a campfire moment for that community.”

The goal of the campaign, Charles said, is for people to remember the term lapiplasty — as well as drive people to the website and help them find a doctor to learn more about the procedure. 

The team tracked 4,000 visitors to the website within the first five minutes of the spot airing on live TV.

21Grams also developed two other TV spots with similar lighthearted and awkward scenarios that will air later this year.Charles emphasized that those will focus on the humorous aspect of bunions, too.

“It all stems back to what’s entertaining,” he explained. “People tend to think about the negatives of a disease or ailment, rather than what’s going to make people pay attention. Comedy makes you pay attention because it makes you feel good and makes you laugh. You can deliver messages within that medium, and that’s something that we’re striving for more and more.”