Campaign Celebrates Near-Fatal Successes

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , October 20, 2010

Obituary-style commercials don't seem like a successful way to promote a hospital, but Abington Memorial Hospital's latest installment of its "The Power to Heal" campaign uses this format to attract viewers' attention and highlight the organization's life-saving achievements. Three TV spots began airing this week in the Philadelphia area.

"Beth Dockerty, beloved wife and mother, born January17,1975," one TV spot begins. "Didn't die July 11, 2003, thanks to the treatment of a rare form of cervical cancer in which doctors were able to preserver her uterus and her ability have children. Beth Dockerty and Tyler Dockerty; Living proof of the power to heal."

The campaign, created by the New York ad agency DeVito/Verdi, is the latest effort by the 665-bed hospital to set itself apart from its suburban competitors and more favorably compare it to its larger, downtown Philadelphia competitors.

"Abington Memorial Hospital could have shown impressive shots of an advanced surgical room, or a cadre of serious surgeons poised to put their expertise to work in its latest television ads," marketers said in a release. "Instead, the suburban Philadelphia hospital focused on those who benefited most from its expertise: individuals who survived a near-fatal condition."

This leg of the "Power to Heal" campaign follows many other attention-grabbing 30-second spots, like the one I blogged about back in May.

"Our previous campaign was able to break through the healthcare advertising clutter in Philadelphia. We wanted to raise the bar even further this time," said Beth Ann Neill, director of public relations and marketing. "We believe that emotional messages resonate with consumers and our data indicate significant recall about our campaigns. In a heavy media market, we consider that successful."

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