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Balancing Act

Kandace Mclaughlin, for HealthLeaders Media, January 30, 2008
Trying to break through the clutter to capture market share and top of mind awareness requires a good balance of planning, creativity in your branding, and proper media placement. For Stamford (CT) Hospital, it took six years of program development and organizing of their service lines before they were ready to grow and assert their position within the market.

Facing a crowded marketplace, Stamford's focus was to stand out. "It's a very cluttered advertising market for hospitals, and all the ads look alike and contain too much information," says David Smith, senior vice president of strategy and marketing solutions for Stamford. "The ads for this campaign are designed to be visually intriguing, to break through the clutter, be non-hospital like, be simple, dramatic, say one thing clearly, and be smart and sophisticated." Stamford, with assistance from SPM Marketing & Communications in LaGrange, IL, managed to convey all those characteristics in the campaign.

One particular piece shows a shadow image of a man balancing a crutch, advertising Stamford's orthopedic service line and group rehabilitation program. The copy, "Discover more at a hospital that offers an orthopedic group rehabilitation program with proven results for a faster recovery," fully conveys concepts the campaign wishes to get across with the backing of different, animated imagery.

The use of purple as a backdrop and the "discover more" theme are recurring elements throughout the campaign. Using direct mail publications, radio, and print, Stamford relied on their creativity and simple branding to get their message across.

The campaign is still running, but results so far have been positive. "Our pretests with focus groups showed that it achieved what we wanted: people knew more about our capabilities, saw the affiliation [we have] with New York Presbyterian Healthcare, and looked to us as more of a regional medical center," says Smith.


Kandace Mclaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com. If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.