Kids and Docs Engage in Jocular Banter. Result: Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Builds Awareness and Preference for Its Serious Approach to Medicine

February 23, 2017

Notable Health Care Advertising

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter Hochstein

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? 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. More about the research further on.

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital

The TV spot is part of a campaign for 104-bed Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, part of Stony Brook Medicine and its 603-bed Stony Brook University Hospital in Suffolk County, eastern Long Island. The children’s hospital discharges more than 8,000 patients, and handles nearly 90,000 outpatient visits annually. The nearest rival children’s hospital can be a drive of 90 minutes or considerably more.

But Stony Brook Children’s, a teaching hospital that offers 30 pediatric specialties, isn’t competing in any major way with other children’s hospitals. If anything, its rivals are hospitals for adults.


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