If Joe Public doesn’t care about your hospital, how do you build awareness? By using relevant messaging, or showing a story so compelling people can’t help but to tune in.
For St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, Interval’s solution was to mirror the proven model of a theatrical release promotion to create buzz and generate interest. Spinning the traditional patient testimonial, the campaign features three actual patients promoted as heroes in their own movies. In the initial teaser phase of the campaign, advertising contained no hospital branding. Those interested in finding out more about the “releases” were driven to microsites, where they discovered the campaign was promoting actual documentaries about real-life patients. The overall goal was to use a creative approach that was intentionally different from what most traditional healthcare advertising conveys.
The campaign included broadcast, print and outdoor advertising, along with postings of the movie trailers to YouTube and other media sites, viral emails, posters displayed around town and more. The campaign ushered in the opening of a new multi-million dollar St. Joseph’s facility, culminating in a Grand Opening celebration with an “Oscar night” theme, replete with red carpet and paparazzi, where the documentaries were revealed.
- one of the three service lines featured in the campaign saw a 40% increase in 2008 volumes compared to 2007
- the other two service lines featured each saw 10% increases in volumes compared to 2007
- the campaign helped St. Joseph’s realize a .5% increase in market share in 2008
- the campaign microsites received more than 16,000 unique visitors
- more than 5,000 people attended the Grand Opening and other open houses at the new facility
- the campaign received national and local press coverage
- the campaign won Best in Show at the 2009 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, the Judge’s Choice Award in the 2009 Aster Awards, and a Gold Award in the 26th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards from Healthcare Marketing Report
“How do you begin to bring alive the image of the oldest hospital in the state with a concept that draws in the consumers of today’s healthcare market? The award-winning campaign, which represented our patients as heroes, grabbed the attention of the public while renewing the meaning of healthcare as a calling for our care givers.”
–Sara Criger, CEO St. Joseph’s Hospital