Children’s Hospital Ad Campaign Adds Pinch of Emotion to Case Histories. Result: A Boom in Internet Attention

April 24, 2021

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinThere’s always a fresh approach to case history advertising focused on positive outcomes. Here’s How Children’s Mercy Kansas City took an old technique and made it original for its brand.

Hospital advertising and positive outcome case histories were made for each other. People arrive sick, injured, or teetering on the edge of death. When they emerge whole, healthy, and raring for life, they have a story to tell that says something moving and positive about themselves and the hospital that treated them. Little wonder hospital advertisers often turn to these stories. Two examples:

  • Ads for the Hospital for Special Surgery (or HSS), an orthopedic hospital in New York, until recently told stories like one about a young Dutch university student whose hip had been shattered in an accident. After going to New York for treatment at HSS, she rides her bike again on the cobblestones of Amsterdam. HSS ended each spot with a slogan: “Where the world comes to get back in the game.” The slogan added power to the story, and the story added power to the slogan.
  • At about the same time, New York Presbyterian Hospital began running its own outcomes campaign. One particularly memorable spot featured a girl of about 8 who had been turned down by other hospitals for surgery involving a large tumor entangled with major organs and blood vessels. At New York Presbyterian, in a 23-hour surgery, six major organs were temporarily removed to get at the cancer. Then the organs were replaced. “And now I’m cancer-free,” the little girl tells us. “That’s pretty much my story,” she adds with a shrug. Again, the story and the hospital’s slogan—“Amazing things are happening here”—support each other.

A Slogan That Varies with the Case

Since fall 2018, a pediatric hospital, Children’s Mercy Kansas City (CMKC), has been putting its own advertising spin on stories about outcomes.


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