The University of Kansas Hospital Builds a Strong Reputation While Avoiding ‘Image-y’ Ads
by Peter Hochstein
In recent months, this column has discussed several hospital advertising campaigns whose creators would sooner impale themselves on a scalpel than show a piece of medical equipment or a doctor wearing scrubs or a white coat.
A typical defense of their position is that one advertising campaign featuring doctors and equipment looks pretty much like another. Many of the campaigns instead showed something else, from a cyclist riding off into a lyrical landscape, to cured patients recounting their touching stories. Ads like those have had enormous emotional power and often get excellent results.
But that’s not to say that it is impossible to get outstanding results by hewing to rather more traditional advertising values, such as focusing on the “product” and presenting a unique selling proposition, most especially if what’s unique is the hospital’s superiority when it comes to helping very sick patients get well.
Such is the case with a long-running advertising campaign for the University of Kansas Hospital, which shows and speaks directly to the “product” it is selling – the power of its technology and skilled people. The hospital is a big and busy one, with more than 28,000 inpatient discharges and over 530,000 outpatient visits in 2012.
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