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Promoting a Fast ER, a Faster Driver

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, September 22, 2010

The race car's tires screech as it pulls into the pit stop. Then the video cuts to NASCAR driver Mark Martin. "You know what emergency room care is like at ER Extra?" he asks. The footage switches back to the racetrack pit crew quickly changing the car's tires and making other adjustments before it speeds away again. "Well," Martin says. "It's a lot like that."

This 30-second spot advertises a system-wide initiative to improve ER wait times at Health Management Associates (HMA), a healthcare organization with 56 hospitals based out of Naples, FL. HMA worked with Franklin Street Marketing, an agency in Richmond, VA.

Marketers working on the campaign chose to feature a NASCAR star as a spokesperson to underscore ER Extra's tagline: "Extra fast. Extra easy. Extra great."

"Mark Martin has created a lot of buzz among our hospitals and communities," HMA marketers said in a case study. "People like and trust him. They're thrilled that such a celebrity is representing their community hospital."

The campaign consist of print, outdoor, and TV spots, which emphasize that under HMA's new emergency room improvements patients can see a physician "extra fast"—often in 20 minutes or less. Some commercials also feature Martin's wife Arlene. The TV spots can be viewed at www.youtube.com/juntotube.

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