Hospital Spots Focus On Pediatric Wellness

An Ohio children’s hospital's decision to shift marketing from acute, life-threatening illnesses to pediatric wellness seems to be working.

On the Akron Children’s Hospital’s Web site, these pediatric care videos are getting about 3.5 times as many online views as previous heart-wrenching acute care videos, which focused on cancer and leukemia, heart disease, and neurological, bone and muscular disorders.

The videos, which will also be used in TV and movie theater advertising, take medicine down to a 5-year-old’s level. The three 30-second videos feature kids only; no adults are seen or heard. The campaign, which rolls out this spring and summer, is from advertising agency Marcus Thomas, Cleveland.

Based on research (Forrester plus other, secondary sources) indicating that Millennial parents give increased weight to their kids’ opinions in choosing healthcare, the breaking campaign has four well kids, ages 4 to 6, share their expertise. All are real patients, filmed in real Akron Children’s doctors’ offices.



In “Germs,” the kid explains that “germs go everywhere in your body, then they come right back up. It makes you cough or [doubles over, theatrically] throw up. Other spots include “Listen” and “Tools.”

The campaign runs on prime-time broadcast, and, reflecting its chief target, namely moms of kids under 6, also in movie theaters with mostly G-rated films, such as Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me” spinoff, “Minions” (premiering July 10).

“All of our spots use a documentary style, so even when they’re about acute care, they are not treated in a ‘heavy’ way,” says Beth Smith, Akron Children’s Hospital VP, marketing and public relations. “We loved the idea of kids just being kids in these new spots, though. And since all parents can relate to them, they are more universal than those about a particular type of condition or illness might be.”

The spots work well to increase awareness of services, she says.

“The online versions have been very popular, and have boosted our social media engagement scores dramatically,” Smith tells Marketing Daily.

The hospital has 23 primary care locations. Smith says the campaign is “an adjunct to, not a shift from, [focusing on] acute care.

“Our ads are meant to offer a glimpse of the special environment and awesome staff at Children’s,” she says. “We are focused on that, and supporting the health of kids any way we can.”

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