Campaign Spotlight: Abington Memorial Asks 'What If?'

Marianne Aiello , August 12, 2009

Click to view larger version.When marketers at Abington (PA) Memorial Hospital discovered that its community didn't fully understand the benefits of receiving cancer treatment at a full-service hospital rather than a dedicated cancer center, they knew it was time for an attention-grabbing campaign. So Abington enlisted Wilmington, DE ad agency Aloysius Butler & Clark to craft creative that would make patients and physicians take notice.

The resulting campaign was called "What If" and ran print, radio, and transit ads from June 2008–March 2009. Each ad emphasized all of the oncology and emergent services that Abington could provide.

"'What If' was born because we learned there was an opportunity in their market to distinguish Abington by asking the question 'What if?', as if we were the cancer patient—and that Abington provides the solution," says Lynda Rudolph, creative director at AB&C.

The creative team at AB&C wanted to create a compelling look and feel, says Marc Icasiano, creative director.

"We wanted to use some portrait shots which were in your face, and the large what if in combination with that would be hard to ignore in a newspaper," he says.

Due to the vast amount of physician feedback, Abington has since decided to extend "What If" to heart and vascular, neurology, bariatric, and HMI service lines.

"We knew the campaign had really taken off when it was brought to our attention that when a new physician from a competing specialty hospital called on primary care physicians, they asked him the same questions that were posed in the campaign," says Linda Millevoi, Abington's media relations director.

Marianne Aiello is an editor with HealthLeaders Media. She may be reached at

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