Campaign Spotlight: Bilingual Ads Drive Mammograms

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , December 30, 2009

Click to view larger version.Hundreds of women in Cabarrus County, NC, are proudly touting pink pins in support of breast health, and their numbers are rising every day. Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast gives the pins to women who have received a mammogram—a demographic that has increased since the 457-bed hospital launched an awareness campaign last year. The effort won the organization a platinum award in the women's health service line category at the 2009 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards.

CMC-NorthEast launched the campaign after a survey found that just 36% of women in the county had a mammogram. Marketers wanted to educate the community about mammogram effectiveness and clear up common misconceptions. The campaign included print, direct mail, outdoor, and online elements.

"The photos used in this campaign were diverse, younger looking women," CMC-NorthEast wrote in its entry form for the awards. "We wanted to relay the message that breast cancer is not reserved for the older population. Images of mothers with their children were used to convey that a woman's health not only affects her life, but the lives of her children and other family members as well."

The campaign also alerted potential patients of the hospital's extended mammography hours, which make it more convenient for busy women to get screened. Campaign copy was printed in English and in Spanish to reach a wide audience.

"The imagery was upbeat and positive," one judge wrote. "Copy really drove the campaign and offered the information needed to meet the objectives. Imagery and copy in Spanish worked well with the original campaign information (muy bien) without resorting to stereotypical visual support. The stats are woven in to the copy naturally."

The ads resonated with locals, too. The number of screening mammograms in Cabarrus County increased to 27.7% in 2008 and to 42% in 2009. From April 2007 to April 2008, CMC-NorthEast increased screenings by more than 800 mammograms.

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