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."