How to Get the Most from a Celebrity Hospital Visit

Anna Webster, April 13, 2011

At Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, paparazzi stakeouts are part of the norm. On a weekly basis, celebrities are known to pass through the double doors of the hospital to volunteer, sign autographs, or take a guided tour.

“There’s no better way to get photographers to take pictures,” says Amanda Hedlund, marketing specialist for Children’s Hospital LA. "Kids will request certain celebrities. [They] love getting signed memorabilia and signed pictures. Especially right now with our new hospital building, we've been reaching out to get [celebrities] involved."

We know that linking a celeb with brand marketing isn't unique. But is it effective? If a hospital engaged Justin Beiber to promote a hospital vaccination campaign, would parents take packs of young girls in to get their cootie shots?

Not necessarily. It turns out that celebrities are not at the top of the list for faces patients trust the most. A Harris Interactive poll conducted on the behalf of Adweek shows that consumers ranked business leaders more persuasive than celebrities when delivering endorsements.

In an online survey of 2,186 adults, the following categories were ranked…

   1. Business leaders (37%)

   2. Athletes (21%)

   3. TV/movie stars (18%)

   4. Politicians (10%)

At Children’s Hospital LA, celebrity visitors have included: Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, and Kim Kardashian. Instead of marketing celeb endorsements, the hospital markets celebrity visits to promote the hospital.

Anna Webster Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Anna Webster, Online Content Coordinator for HealthLeaders Media, can be reached at
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