'Consumer' to Consumer: A Different Perspective

Kandace McLaughlin, for HealthLeaders Media, January 9, 2008
With many large children's hospitals in the Twin Cities, University of Minnesota Children's Hospital (UMCH) needed to show consumers that they have a choice when it comes to their children's care. The hospital's marketing team knew that the care the hospital gives to children and the patient stories they had to tell could differentiate them from the competition.

"Originally the facility was thought of as a place you'd only go for acute care," says Bill Faude, creative director and copy writer with UMCH's agency Storandt Pann Margolis (SPM) in La Grange, IL. "We wanted to show people that the facility could be used for a variety of procedures and that's a big part of why we did the work we did."

From that need to rebrand and capture regional market share, the team created the 'This is more' campaign.

Though they used a multimedia approach, the campaign's TV spots and its peer to peer level strategy made it distinctive. For example, one spot features a 'patient' named Ella. Her father speaks about the excellent care Ella received at UMCH, but also about how the level of care benefited the family. UMCH shows that though getting its message out about its professionals and their abilities is important, the patient and patient's family are its primary focus.

"Many other organizations deliver messages through their physicians but hearing medical information from professionals can feel like it's coming from Mount Olympus. We tried to empathize [with consumers]: 'Who would parents want to hear from?' and centered on the concept of getting information from those who had lived it," says Faude.

The campaign ran throughout 2007 and with Web hits doubling, targeting the consumer with a person they can relate to seems to have been the right move.

Kandace Mclaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com.
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