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Fusing Fort HealthCare’s Branding

Kandace McLaughlin, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2008

Click to view pdf version.Fort HealthCare, a community healthcare system in Fort Atkinson, WI, was faced with opposition: from their own competing campaign messages. In a money and brand saving strategy, Fort HealthCare created a marketing campaign that would fuse the brand with a central message for all its facilities.

“We were spending a lot of time and money and it was problematic,” says James Shulkin, director of planning and market development for Fort HealthCare. “We had our ads competing in our local media outlets. You would turn a page in the local newspaper and there would be an ad for Fort HealthCare. On the next page there would be an ad for one of our medical groups. It looked ostentatious and wasteful. So, we decided to cut back and combine our efforts.”

Working with NOISE, Inc. Branding Communications, a full service agency in Milwaukee, Fort HealthCare used its budget to develop a multi-integrated brand and image initiative.

The campaign, literally, took on many faces. The print pieces were designed for four specific service lines and were centered on the concept of what conditions and symptoms Fort HealthCare’s physicians might face within each service line. In a time saving maneuver, the TV spots were shot at the same time a photo shoot was held on set for the print pieces. Then, body part shots from the pictures taken at the photo shoot were used to create symptoms of the patient in the print pieces. “We were trying to encompass the message that Fort HealthCare was here for everyone no matter what the problem,” says Mary Parodo, NOISE president.

Though the brand-line for Fort HealthCare, “Caring for Life,” was represented on each element of the campaign each element also had its own individual tagline, which gave each piece its own life. An example of this can be seen in the pediatric print piece that features the tagline, “So what brings you in today?” It’s exactly the casual response an experienced pediatrician would offer to a patient who might obviously have a toy car stuck in their nose—but it’s that simple, individualized message which helped to bring this campaign together and also helps it to stand out.


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.