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Campaign Spotlight: More Than a Community Hospital

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, December 16, 2009

Click to view larger version.Several ads from Danbury (CT) Hospital's "A Higher Level of Care" campaign feature people with portions of their body seen through X-ray film. In addition to making for intriguing images, these ads are also a metaphor for the campaign goal: convincing consumers to look past their preconceptions and see Danbury as a center for high-level care.

Marketers at Danbury worked with SPM Marketing & Communications to create the campaign, which won a platinum award at this year's HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards in the branding category. Danbury leadership decided an image campaign was crucial after its 2008 brand monitoring study showed that most locals viewed the organization as a community hospital that they would only go to for run-of-the-mill ailments.

"When it came to more specialized care, even specialized care they did very well, they were losing market share and suffered from diminished consumer preference to local and New York competitors," wrote SPM on the award entry form. "They were influenced by a somewhat unfavorable perception of the town of Danbury itself and consumer biases regarding of the limitations of a ‘community hospital.'"

The effort included print, TV, radio, outdoor, and a microsite, focusing on driving volume to colon surgery, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, and cardiology service lines.

"The print and outdoor ads are a perfect combination of simple and attention-grabbing," wrote one judge. "The TV and radio ads are strong, clear, and to the point."

The campaign's success was measured by call center volume, event and screening attendance, Web hits and visits, and qualitative and quantitative consumer research. Research found that ad recall is up 13% from the previous year in all markets, with unaided ad recall up 20% in the primary market.

"Danbury saw results in each of the several areas they measured and then some," wrote another judge. "The fact that unaided ad recall increased by 20% is very impressive."

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