At first, the universal symbols for play, pause, and fast-forward on TV remotes don't seem to have much to do with cancer. But MCGHealth's "Play-Pause" campaign used the images as a metaphor for how a person's life is put on hold when they are diagnosed with cancer. The effort won the Augusta, GA, hospital a silver award in the service line category at the HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards.
MCG launched the print advertising campaign to educate consumers about their cancer care, specialists, and technology as well as lay the groundwork to publicize its Cancer Center, which was then under construction.
"From conversations with cancer patients, we learned that they feel their life has been put on hold when they hear the words 'You have cancer,'" MCG wrote in their submission form. "This campaign touches on the emotions they feel and shows in an arresting way, that while your life may be on pause, there is hope and life beyond the diagnosis."
The ads, one featuring a mom and another a businessman, show snippets of the subjects' lives before and after cancer. The call to action directs consumers to the MCG Web site.
Information requests spiked after the campaign launched, from four the month before the launch to 241 the month of the launch. Online appointment requests also increased, from zero during the month before the launch to 43 the month of the launch.
The campaign was also a favorite of the award contest judges.
"It is absolutely true, your life goes on hold when you hear those awful words ('You have cancer') I know, I've been there," one wrote. "This campaign has crisp images and is certainly a unique approach."