Veteran copywriter and SHCM contributor Peter Hochstein boils down one hospital’s advertising campaign down to one word: wisecracks.
The little girl getting wheeled into surgery is about 11 years old—and not at all like any other little girl you’ve seen in TV spots about surgery. She’s a quick-thinking, fast-talking, smart mouth. But then, so is the pediatric surgeon who accompanies her.
The girl asks, “What will you do with my appendix?”
“Put it under your pillow for the Appendix Fairy,” cracks the doctor.
“Gross!” says the girl. “You’re just trying to distract me from the surgery.”
“I’m a Stony Brook doctor. That’s my job,” says the surgeon.
“Do pediatric surgeons and their patients ever actually banter like that?” Hochstein posits. “Probably not. Does it matter? Well, if you want notable hospital advertising, it might. The intent of this TV spot was to create a dialogue between a kid and a doctor that’s so entertaining, viewers pay attention and take away information that they’re likely to act on. Research shows that it’s working.”
For all the details of this highly successful—and unusually entertaining—campaign, read the full article now:
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