Branding 'For Life'

Kandace McLaughlin, for HealthLeaders News , December 19, 2007
A new branding effort for Saint Thomas Health Services, a 4-hospital system headquartered in Nashville, takes a unique look at life. In an extremely competitive regional market, the system decided the way to stand out from its competitors was to guarantee it would be a permanent part of the community, demonstrate its continued dedication to faith, and emphasize the importance it places on the emotional and physical health of its patients.

Saint Thomas Health Services focused its initial efforts on Baptist Hospital in Nashville and its two primary service lines, orthopedics and obstetrics. Working with D S Tombras, an ad agency with offices in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., they created the "We're Here for Life" campaign, which captured life's most emotional and memorable moments. (Click to view full sized version.)

From the birth of a child to being rehabilitated after surgery, the multi-integrated campaign initiative features modern production techniques, such as fast-motion filming, accompanied by modern music for their commercials and beautifully planned imagery for their print collateral. "The message was significant and the production values helped to make it stick out and break out of the clutter," says Steve Dennison, president of D S Tombras. "This reflects positively on the overall brand."

Another important campaign message for Baptist was 'let our faith be your strength.'

"We were interviewing people on the street to get a community perspective and were being told the most amazing stories about the care and compassion at Baptist," said Steve Castle, vice president and account supervisor at D S Tombras. "One woman even said that before her surgery at Baptist the staff came in and prayed with her. That's reassuring to people and it's a significant differentiator in this campaign."

The campaign helped Baptist and Saint Thomas Health Services increase consumer preference by 30 percent and unaided awareness by 38 percent.

Kandace Mclaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at




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