Tribute and The Bloc

Instant Doctor

The script for this chilling film may have been written before COVID-19, but it took on an entirely new meaning due to the pandemic.

The goal of this project — celebrating National Doctor’s Day on March 30, 2020 — was to show genuine gratitude for doctors and healthcare professionals. But it’s not another Hallmark card. It skips the predictable stock footage of heroic doctors and happy, smiley patients. Instead, it helps us imagine a dystopian world. Here, medicine is dispensed by a machine with incredible accuracy — and zero warmth.

Instant Doctor takes a peek into the not-so-distant future when a man walks into a booth and learns he has two illnesses. One can be fixed immediately. The other, the doctor bot tells him cheerfully, means he has eight months to live. 

Shot in Curitiba, Brazil, at a museum, this six-minute film achieves its goal in true cinematic fashion, urging the audience to question innovation and its role in healthcare by creating a world where algorithms have replaced empathy.

And while Tribute is the brand behind the effort, it’s never named, acknowledging that an ad can’t be a real “thank you” if it’s ultimately a promotional message about a product. The takeaway is simple and high-impact: We’re grateful for healthcare workers’ empathy, commitment and dedication — something that machines will never be able to replace.

Instant Doctor drew more than 5,000 Vimeo views in one week, achieving 30 million views in a month. And it generated so much attention that Tribute’s website received 140,000 views in a single day, ultimately causing it to crash.