RX For Success: Documentary-Style NYU Langone Spots Track Winning Results

Try taking your eyes off “Hearts for Phyllis” or “Faster Stroke Care,” two spots from New York healthcare provider NYU Langone Health.

You’ll find them immersive and suspenseful experiences, thanks to documentary-style, cinematic-quality work from agency Deloitte Digital.

And, of course -- no spoiler alert needed here -- they have happy endings, a point driven home further by the campaign’s title: #TheBestOutcomes.

“Every minute a stroke goes untreated, two million brain cells are lost. Forever,” declares on-screen graphics in my favorite of these spots, the aforementioned “Faster Stroke Care.” Because of that statistic, it’s also the longest of the ads, clocking in at exactly one minute.

As a nurse laces up her Nike Vaporfly, known as the “world’s fastest shoe,” and then starts checking her watch, an on-screen clock begins ticking down the 60 seconds as the real-time action moves from a speeding ambulance to the patient being wheeled out on a stretcher to the Vaporfly-wearing nurse and others rushing to the patient and into the treatment room.

As in a good movie, the action moves so fast that viewers are unaware of the cinematic tricks being employed to heighten the drama. In this case, we’ll take Deloitte Digital’s word that the film has “a mix of hyper-lapse and slow-motion action to focus attention on the importance of every movement.”

#TheBestOutcomes campaign started last summer with four :30 spots, highlighted by “Hearts for Phyllis,” about a real New Yorker who needed a heart transplant but met resistance because she was 74 years old. While other hospitals turned her away, the spot says, NYU Langone Health gave her a new heart “after just two days on the waitlist.”

The commercial begins with a helicopter landing, before it’s revealed that the box being carried out and labelled “Handle with Care” actually says “Heart” on the other side. It’s brought into an ambulance as the on-screen graphic reads, “Stay Young, Phyllis.”

Also last year, there was also a general non-Phyllis version of the same spot, plus one about NYU Langone moving into a Brooklyn neighborhood, and another called Top Care, Everywhere.

The first wave of #TheBestOutcomes ended up resulting in good outcomes for NYU Langone.

One month after the campaign’s launch, the healthcare provider tells Pharma & Health Insider, it was seeing a record number of appointments, with social results 243% above benchmarks, and a video completion rate of over 70%.

As a result, two more behind-the-scenes films have debuted this year: “Faster Stroke Care,” a real-time :60 spot showing EMTs and others saving a stroke victim, and “#1 in Brain Surgery. Any Way You Look at It,” a :30 spot showing NYU Langone surgeons rehearsing for the real thing.>

All the films feature real EMTs and surgeons in actual active hospital locations, with Deloitte Digital saying its film crew spends several days at the hospital leading up to the filming of each spot in order to conduct interviews and “ensure the highest level of authenticity.”


The latest films have debuted during high-profile TV events, and are running across TV, digital, social and out-of-home, including a digital billboard in Times Square.

While NYU Langone and Deloitte Digital haven’t released results from this year’s campaign, Aaron Sidorov, the agency’s group creative director, tells Pharma and Health Insiderthat #TheBestOutcomes will ‘keep growing” -- with “new content, new stories and “always pushing creative craft boundaries and reflecting the culture of the health system.”

“These are not just brand commercials,” Sidorov has said. “They are short films crafted to draw the audience into the critical stories behind life-saving care. With grit. With mystery. With drama. And with the utmost authenticity.”

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