Celebrity Ties Benefit Hospitals—When Alignment is Right

Marianne Aiello, June 13, 2012

There is a certain finesse to choose the right celebrity spokesperson for any organization—but it is an especially lofty task for a hospital. The actor or sports figure (usually they are film stars or professional athletes) must be well known, but not too flashy; relatable, but respected; amiable, but competent and informed.

While, it is a difficult undertaking to find the right star for a hospital advertising campaign, the University of Kansas Hospital has done it successfully. Twice.

Choosing a celebrity spokesperson
The idea of using a celebrity spokesperson for The University of Kansas Hospital arose more than 10 years ago when the organization decided to change the direction of its campaign to solidify its position as a leader in academic medicine.

As the only academic medical center in the state, The University of Kansas Hospital wanted to ensure that any communication about academic medicine and patient care truly stood out. Marketers believed then as they believe now that how they communicate is another reflection of how the organization is different. 

Marketers chose to do this by hiring a celebrity spokesperson and they knew they had to be very selective about who carried their message.


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