Other services do lend themselves to a more lighthearted approach – such as wellness services and obstetrics care, Stamp says. Others warrant serious message in order to maintain credibility in the eyes of viewers.
"Fear is a very powerful emotion, but it is dangerous to use in healthcare advertising because it has the potential to cause people to just shut out the unpleasant message," he says. "Anti-smoking campaigns are an excellent example of where there is a fine-line between a compelling message and one that causes people to tune out."
"More positive approaches from smoking-cessation programs and pharmaceuticals that emphasize the message, 'We can help you kick this habit' generally have been more successful than ones that simply use scare tactics."
The most successful campaigns do play off the emotions of patients without crossing the line of being overly dramatic or trivializing the issue by being overly positive.