Celebrity Ties Benefit Hospitals—When Alignment is Right
Evaluating a spokesperson's impact
The message that The University of Kansas Hospital hoped to communicate when it launched this campaign in 2004 was heard by the community loud and clear, thanks to Skerritt and Allen.
Discharges are up 56% since 2002 and volume has climbed steadily even at the height of the economic downturn. Marketers believe the campaign has played a significant role in these statistics.
Consumer surveys also found that unaided recall of the organization has increased 38.5% since 2002.
"The public also associates The University of Kansas Hospital with the academic medical center difference more than ever before," says Amor. "That association has climbed 66% since 2002, meaning people understand us to be the premier academic medical center in the region."
The University of Kansas Hospital's campaign proves that, when done right, using a celebrity spokesperson can enhance an organization's image and amplify its message. But a well-known spokesperson is not a cure-all. The campaign has to be done in the right way for the right reasons.
"Engaging a celebrity works best for a hospital that starts with a certain magnitude," Winegar says. "A sustainable and credible magnitude. Otherwise, merely attaching a celebrity to a weak brand is simply not believable—and the market knows it."
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