Healthcare Marketing

Brand engagement campaign that engages.


Sometimes it’s hard to get healthcare marketing clients to step out of the comfort zone of traditional advertising.  Not so with our client, Covenant HealthCare. True marketing partners, they are always ready to step out of the box. For the right reason. They are the regional heart leader, so what better way to take the lead in engaging the community around heart education than to forge ahead with social networking tools? Covenant’s “Love Notes” campaign launched on none other than Valentine's Day, amidst Heart Awareness month.

TV, Radio, Facebook ads, and heart-shaped, red Post-Its on the front page of the Sunday News are driving people to sign up for free “Love Your Heart” texts and e-Blasts (heart-healthy tips, coupons, recipes, events, heart risk assessment, etc), of course, all shareable. Covenant tweets a heart-healthy tip every day. The radio stations have joined in the fun with daily heart-healthy tips. It’s a beautiful convergence of traditional, non-traditional and social media. And in just two weeks, over 1,000 hits to the landing page with folks signing up for the cardiac-related information their heart desires...send us a "love note" if you love this campaign!


Love Notes Landing Page

No ordinary healthcare marketing campaign.


I think our “Ordinary Day” campaign for client, Covenant HealthCare, is rather extraordinary in many ways. First of all, it’s extraordinarily jilting. In a good way. We can all picture the scenario. Driving in the car, the kids yapping, distracting, everyone happy and normal…until one moment takes it all away.


Screeching crash, sirens, red lights, bits of glass and items flying through the air. Imagined trauma in slow motion. Your heart takes a leap, when Covenant, the regional Emergency/Trauma leader, enters the scene, because “On an ordinary day, you just may need the extraordinary.”

This is where the campaign is extraordinarily on brand. Covenant’s umbrella position and themeline is “Extraordinary care for every generation.” The EM/Trauma clinical program marketing supports and drives the brand position home, conveying the leadership position for both adults and kids (generational).

Finally, we have substantiated proof that the TV spot is of extraordinary quality! Ok, it’s a little too early for Healthcare Marketing Awards as it just started running(!), however¸ a Covenant employee emailed the Marketing Director yesterday saying, “I wanted to let you know that our Covenant spot got my vote as the BEST COMMERCIAL IN THE SUPER BOWL!” We’ll take beating out Chrysler and VW any day!

Watch and listen to the TV and radio spots and let me know if you like!

Shining a light on breast cancer awareness.


The historic Peabody Mansion, the home of Brogan & Partners, is usually a sight to see in yellow, but this October we’re going pink. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So we wanted to raise awareness for breast cancer, honor Michigan survivors and remember those who lost their lives.


B&P in the pink

This cause is very near and dear to us. On a professional level, we have a strong passion for healthcare marketing. And on a personal level, our Managing Partner, Ellyn Davidson, is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with the disease 3 years ago and beat it. Her organization, Ta Ta Breast Cancer (a group of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walkers), has raised over $290,000 for breast cancer research and treatment. Our agency is dedicated to supporting this cause for her and for all women out there who must face this disease.

We hope that our pink lights will be a small step in supporting the cause and increasing awareness to many. All of us here at Brogan & Partners are looking forward to a brighter (pinker) tomorrow for women’s health.

Eldercare marketing, a follow-up.


I had visions of sharing with you some of the best nursing home and eldercare ads out there in this post today. Problem is, I can't find them - that wouldn't surprise me too much except that fabulous Brogan intern, Morgan, couldn't find them either - and she can find anything. But it looks like healthcare marketers in this realm have identified interactive as a great space to be in (I agree - I'm there, and I'm the target), and there is some fierce competition in paid search - check out the the Google Adwords results for "Long term care insurance."In fact, using, it looks like an average cost per click could be around $12!

Google Adwords Keyword Results

And in somewhat unrelated news, I thought I'd share this terrific blog for those of you who find yourselves in my shoes. Thanks to the New York Times for filling this need.

Research-based H1N1 ad.


By now, we've all seen a lot of H1N1 ads. But are they working? Our client, Michigan Department of Community Health, decided to go straight to the target audience - minority populations of African Americans, Arab Americans and Hispanics who have NOT received the vaccine - with focus groups to understand WHY NOT.  The problem? They simply don't trust it.  Respondents said it was "rushed into circulation", "pushed by the government", and is "unsafe", "untested and experimental," and "unproven." Of course, all misperceptions and untruths, as the vaccine is the safest, most effective way to prevent the flu. We know that trust is a critical component of the healthcare marketing equation -- and that we had to overcome this basic feeling of mistrust. Since the majority of respondents said their doctor would be the single person they would trust the most about whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccine, we encouraged action through this open door. Even though we know 61% if adults search online for health information and 81% of Internet users search online for health information (Pew Research Center), we bravely persevered with what research told us is the most effective call to action: TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.

The print ad is straightforward. Designed to help people make a list of questions to ask their doctor about seasonal flu and H1N1. I think its simplicity and utilize are unexpected -- and will break through the clutter.


Kudos to MDCH for their research-savvy approach. We'll keep you posted as this just started running.  Let us know what you think!

Medicare marketing: eligibility for boomers near.


Well, it won’t be long until boomers out there enter the riches of retirement. Life on a golden pond. Fishing. Quilting. Soap Operas. Fabulous group tours on one of those fancy buses with dark windows and rainbow speckled seating. Medicare coverage. Of course I’m kidding (well not the part about boomers becoming eligible for Medicare), but the whole group tour thing, now that was a joke. Kind of. You see, the boomer group is going to be large but it isn’t going to be homogeneous.  Yes, some will be on group tours but others will want to stay close to home.  Many will enjoy watching daytime television shows while others will be connecting with friends on Facebook. You may find some sitting down with a good book - either on paper or an e-reader.  This group needs to be segmented so that they can be targeted with the right Medicare product, right creative message, and at the right place. I was pleased to read this blog by Robin Raff in MediaPost which emphasizes the importance of avoiding generalizations about this sought-after group.

Elder-care marketers? Anybody home?


Forget the sandwich, in the words of our illustrious COO, Maria Marcotte, I am a full-fledged member of the "four course meal generation." I won't mention my three children whose ages span 21 years, my full time career, or volunteering (although after 6 years of Lost, my schedule has now cleared for an hour a week), I'll just focus on an ever-so-gracefully aging mother who is halfway through a rehab stint at a very good convalescent home in North Carolina.

I've spent the last three weeks dashing around between home, work, hospital, and convalescent care, since my mother had knee replacement surgery. And would you like to guess how many elder-care marketing messages I've encountered? None.

What a missed opportunity. Do I want the best ongoing care for my mother? Yes. Do I have time to figure out what that really means? No. In the hours I have spent with her at the hospital and in the nursing home (sorry Mom, I know you like to call it re-hab), have I been a captive audience with a Blackberry and a penchant for searching health tips for older folks? You betcha. But not one relevant ad has crossed my path. In fact, kudos go to Johns Hopkins for being the ONLY organization to remotely recognize my situation, but that is only through opt-in health alerts.

So where are the marketers? I'm not that hard to find. Why not serve me up something on Facebook (since my life story is now ever-so-public)? As I dig around online why am I not targeted contextually? Why aren't those ads hitting me on my phone during those endless bedside hours?

Long-term care insurers? Long-term care providers? Home health organizations? Home medical equipment retailers? Hello? Anybody out there? Help me and the millions of people like me figure this elder care mystery out - we certainly don't have the luxury of time to do it ourselves.

"Culture of Wellness" is goal for new technologies.


I wrote about HealthCamp RDU a couple of weeks ago, and really looked forward to the event. Unfortunately, I had to leave after the keynote  (such is the life of an account person). But wow, what a great lesson from speaker Nick Augustinos of Cisco on the direction of health information technologies and trends in health information sharing. Be sure to check the homepage soon to see videos of the conference.

I can't recap everything Nick said here, but one thing I wanted to pass along is the idea that we are moving from a "Culture of Pathology" to a "Culture of Wellness"- the basic concept isn't new, but hearing it spelled out in terms of technology was enlightening, so thanks Nick. I want us all to consider how healthcare marketing shifts as a result of this cultural transformation. How do we as marketers move consumers away from a diagnose/fix mentality to a prevention mentality? It has been the mission of public health officials for years, and it is clearly becoming an important direction on which providers and managed care companies should focus. The technology available today makes this the opportunistic time - so what would you do first?

Branding a community hospital.


It’s been awhile since I posted my last blog on branding a community hospital and the campaign we were developing for Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH).  And since they just launched the campaign on their end (a convergent branding approach complete with a refreshed website, facebook fan page, direct mail, newspaper, radio and outdoor), it seems like now is the perfect time.

After working with OMH on an extensive discovery process, we determined that the hospital was known throughout the region as “the community hospital.”  Well, there isn’t too much unique about that claim.  But we also discovered the fact that OMH was so much more than just a community hospital – they are the predominant volume leader, top-of-mind awareness leader, and the most preferred and referred hospital.  Ok, now we have something to shout from the rooftops, something that the community will truly care about.

With that said, we then were faced with the challenge of developing a brand campaign that would position OMH as the place that you can rely on for your kids broken arm, but also the place to start your entire healthcare journey. OMH will put you on the best path for a quality continuum of care. It’s so much more than most would expect from a community hospital.

Below is the print we developed for them.  You will notice this isn’t just a campaign that talks solely about OMH, it includes a shout-out to their close-knit and beautiful region highlighting their passion for a natural and active lifestyle (bringing it all back to the emotional connection).

OMH Brand Print

Since it just launched, we don’t have any results quite yet, but I will give an update as soon as the campaign begins to age a bit.  Stay tuned.

Embracing life with emotional connections.


As advocates of making an emotional connection, I have to blog about the Embrace Life  spot that rates 10+ for EC.  It got forwarded to me a couple months ago thru the adworld,  and my sister (non-adworld) just forwarded it to me.  Which tells me this internet phenomenon is now reaching stay-at-home moms.  Now she's a very intelligent gal, and she thought it was pretty, but she wasn't sure she got what they were trying to communicate - hence, her question to her adsister.  She got the main message - Wear Your Seatbelt - but she was looking for something deeper...Why is his family there? Are they saving him? Are they the reason he should wear it?

All good questions, and all likely part of the message intent. The key point is it made the emotional connection for her to begin questioning and thus, interacting with the communication...and bravo, she understands the main point - Wear Your Seatbelt! I passionately explained the whole emotional connection thing to my sis to which she responded, ", are you bringing your broccoli salad Sunday?..."

We do a lot of social marketing  (we call it "oughta marketing") and this is one of the best spots I've seen. I believe the beautiful emotional connection (love) has created this beautiful viral phenomenon (6 million plus views).  If you haven't seen it yet, you really oughta click below.

Does it make your favorite commercial list?

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