Sick Kids with Fierce Determination Raise Preference Scores and Brand Recognition for Virginia’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond

May 13, 2020

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinSometimes the best way to trigger a strong emotional response is to emphasize the positive.

Nothing triggers an emotional reaction like watching someone trying to resist it. There’s a kids’ game in which the object is to stare at all the other kids and try to make one of them laugh while they resist. Trying not to laugh usually ended with an explosion of giggles all around.

Similarly, somebody overcoming tough circumstances without crying is likelier to get your eyes tearing up than somebody who already is crying.

Shira Pollard, PR & Marketing Manager, VCU Health System

Shira Pollard, PR & marketing manager, VCU Health System

Now the principle of triggering emotions by showing people resisting them has been harnessed in a current advertising campaign by the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. This 182-bed hospital-within-a-hospital deals with “about 275,000” outpatient visits a year, as well as programs in physical, occupational, and speech therapy, according to Shira Pollard, the hospital’s PR and marketing manager. The hospital shorthands its name as CHoR, which we’ll use hereafter.

CHoR’s advertising — on television, internet, radio, print, and billboards — probably won’t make you weep uncontrollably. But you may feel as if you’re on the verge of shedding a tear or two when you’re exposed to it, most especially the television advertising.

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