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Super Bowl Ads Kick Off Hospital Chain Campaign

Doug Desjardins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 9, 2011

When you think of Super Bowl commercials, the first things that come to mind are ads for beer, colas, cars, fast food, and other sports programming staples. But this year, a Boston-based hospital network joined the mix with a commercial promoting its hospitals as a destination for superior healthcare.

Steward Health Care System, which operates six hospitals in Massachusetts, launched a two-month ad campaign dubbed "Believe" with a regional commercial that aired Feb. 6 during Super Bowl XLV. The 30-second spot featured people talking about their healthcare experience and what they expect from a hospital.

"We think this campaign will be a game-changer for health care marketing," said Brian Carty, chief marketing officer for Steward. "There is no bigger platform than the Super Bowl and we're excited to introduce our brand to Massachusetts in a way that demonstrates our enthusiasm and commitment to being a long-term member of the communities we serve."

To create the commercial – the first of two that will air -Steward recruited the Boathouse Group, a local firm that's worked for high profile companies including Nike and Volkswagen. The ads were shot in locations in and around Boston including the neighborhoods of Allston, Brighton, and South Boston with an emphasis on people and settings viewers could relate to.

"All the people in our ads look familiar," said Carty. "We want people to watch the ad and say' Oh, I've met that person'."

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4 comments on "Super Bowl Ads Kick Off Hospital Chain Campaign"


abillmann (3/15/2011 at 9:22 AM)
The essence of effective advertising is that you reach the right person at the right time with the right message. By the sheer numbers (in terms of ratings) associated with the Super Bowl, I'm sure some of the right people were reached. But not at the right time, and not with the right message. As healthcare marketers, it's our obligation to understand public perceptions and realize that Super Bowl advertising is perceived as expensive, ineffective and superfluous. And realistically, that perception isn't too far from reality.

Jodi Rawson (2/11/2011 at 12:23 PM)
Sounds familiar! North Kansas City Hospital opened a new cardiovascular unit and open heart surgery floor in order to consolidate some of our existing cardiac services in mid-Jan. As a compliment, we released an ad campaign featuring local people who have benefited from our cardiac care. We were able to run one of our spots, locally, during the Super Bowl too. The campaign consisted of tv, print, billboards as well as our websites and social media. Check it out:http://on.fb.me/CardiacCareCampaign

Karl Vanhooten (2/10/2011 at 11:52 AM)
And given the cost of Super Bowl ads, apparently Steward Health is very profitable to sling that kind of money around. Oh, that's right, it's for-profit now. Caritas Christi must be twisting in their chair.