Situation: With a competing hospital threatening to open their own heart center, Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas, needed an advertising campaign to promote their own center, establishing it as the premier heart center in East Texas. To do this, they turned to their advertising agency, Atkins & Associates, who gave the assignment to me. The assignment was fairly straight-forward. Media had already purchased space for a full-page ad. I was to sell absolutely everything the Heart Center offered—while making it an engaging, informative read.
Action: Working closely with the hospital administrators and agency art director, it was quickly decided that the best way to do this would be to profile someone who had actually experienced everything the Heart Center had to offer. The hospital began looking for likely candidates, while the art director and I got to work. Tossing out the media recommendation, we decided that a “Scotch-page” ad would serve the purpose of dominating the page. That would leave the extra column inches to run on preceding pages as “teaser ads.” In these, the reader would be led into the story through the viewpoints of the different individuals that were involved in the main character’s story.
Result: With the hospital’s help, candidates were found. I interviewed each of them and wrote the ads, working closely with the art director to ensure the most visually pleasing word count possible. The end result was a series of ads that blew the competition out of the water— while setting a new bar in medical marketing. Healthcare Advertising Review summed up the concept by saying, “After you read the first or second page, could you pause to check out the stock quotations or box scores before plunging on to see what happened next? Heck, we’d skip the comics to find out. And talk about a response—the ads were the talk of Tyler, Texas, and Mother Francis Hospital got calls from people asking when the next series of ads would appear!