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Super Bowl Ads Kick Off Hospital Chain Campaign

Doug Desjardins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 9, 2011

While Steward did not disclose how much it spent on the Super Bowl ad, it was designed as a springboard for a two-month ad campaign that will feature TV ads, online ads, and regional print ads.

Carty said the company expects the ads to generate plenty of buzz around Steward Health. He said they're designed to set it apart from other healthcare providers, noting that "in terms of marketing, healthcare is about 20 years behind everything else." He added that most healthcare marketing still revolves around old delivery mediums such as direct mail and billboards.

Steward's six hospitals were formerly part of Caritas Christi Health Care and include St. Anne's in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.

For Steward - a subsidiary of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management – the Super Bowl ad could pave the way for expansion beyond Massachusetts. At a J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January, CEO Ralph de la Torre said Steward is developing a lower-cost, high volume patient care model that stresses new technology, coordinated healthcare, and other programs to keep overhead low.

"The main goal of getting bigger in a region is to gain volume," de la Torre told investors in San Francisco. "You can longer go to insurance companies and demand higher rates. Those days are gone." He added that Steward would market its emphasis on affordable, quality care. "In a world of Neiman Marcuses, we're OK being Filene's."

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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.