Cinematic Campaign Knows its Audience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , October 28, 2009

Click to view larger version.At first glance, 'The Warrior" ad looks as if it's promoting yet another Spartan-era Hollywood epic. But then there's the fine print: "The Saint Joseph's Film Group presents a Heartfelt Production ‘The Warrior.' Written and directed by the patients themselves."

The cinematic ads are part of the St. Paul, MN, hospital's 2008 image campaign, which won the medium hospital best in show award in this year's HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards. Minneapolis agency Interval worked with St. Joseph's on the effort.

The campaign concept was to "Mirror the proven model of promoting a theatrical release to create buzz and generate interest," the marketing team wrote in its award submission form. "Spinning the traditional patient testimonial, the campaign features three actual patients promoted as heroes in their own movies."

Marketers set campaign goals of creating top-of-mind awareness for the organization and key service lines and building excitement for the opening of the newly expanded and renovated hospital tower.

"A marvelous thought executed to perfection," one judge wrote. "Teasing the campaigns like movies was a stroke of brilliance. This is an edge-of-the-envelope campaign that few would have risked."

The integrated effort produced several positive results, such as a 60% increase in volumes in three service lines versus the previous year, 16,000 unique visitors to campaign microsites, more than 5,000 attendees at the new facility opening, and a .5% increase in market share for the organization as a whole.

"Thunderous applause for the ROI," wrote another judge. "The 60% increase in service line volume is evidence of how well the campaign hit the market."

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