Doing Hospital Fundraising? Meet Your Latest Target: “Compassionate Moms”

February 7, 2018

Notable Health Care Advertising

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinSorry, family health care decision-making moms, ages 20-something to about 50. For once, you’re not the specific target of a hospital advertising campaign.

But then, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, with 618 licensed and leased beds and 1.4 million patient visits annually, has been running a different kind of campaign. Its objective is not to recruit patients but to reach local contributors and encourage them to donate and support the hospital’s research.

The campaign features real kids undergoing treatment for cancer and other grave maladies. The kids are looking for a “someday” — a day when they’ll be able to go home, or a day, as some of the ad copy puts it, “with smiles and laughter. Just as it should be.”

Donna Teach, chief marketing and communications officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Donna Teach, chief marketing and communications officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

But who is the target of the advertising? According to Donna Teach, chief marketing and communications officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the target is “a woman who may or may not have children in her home. She’s in her 20s to 60s.” And she has “a significant passion and interest in supporting the health and welfare of children.”

“We talk about her head and heart,” Teach says. “In her head, she is very much interested in investing in pediatric research.” But “in her heart” as Teach tells it, the same woman is also interested in knowing stories about and actually seeing the individual children she is helping.

If that sounds like a perfect opportunity to do emotionally charged fundraising ads featuring engaging-but-ill kids, you’re absolutely right. In a 60-second video, for example, you’ll see a little girl who has lost her hair to chemotherapy, another awaiting a heart transplant, a young mom with an evidently brain-damaged child, and other kids amid various health-related crises.

Each of the first three kids says “someday,” and then we start hearing about their aspirations, either from them or from various caretakers. “I hope she makes lots of friends.” “I’ll work in a hospital.” “We’ll take a walk together.” “The day we finally go home.”

An ensuing request for contributions is delivered by some of the hospital’s medical staff. Each individual speaks a single sentence. Strung together, the sentences say things like this: “Every child deserves a someday…. And it’s the promise of someday… that drives everything we do at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”

That’s just the beginning.

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