When Outrageous Ads Help Drive Clinical Volume

Advertising alone does not change patient volumes… but it can be a helpful piece of a full media mix.

I have never seen outrageous hospital advertising. Generally hospital and healthcare advertising needs to be very respectful. Nobody wants their provider to be a clown. But there are times when you might as well take a chance.

What are the circumstances that may open the door to outrageous ads (if anybody out there is desperate enough to pioneer hospital ads that are provocative):

  1. Are you an “also ran” in a crowded market?  Meaning, What have you got to lose if your marketshare is awful anyway?
  2. Do you have tiny media budgets? The smaller the budget, the more you can not play it safe. If you have limited media frequency, you must make your message more sticky somehow.
  3. Can you afford decent production values? Extremely well produced humor may work, but cheap humor is the death of your brand. This may seem contradictory to #2 (tiny budgets). But if you use humor, spend to do it right or pay a bigger price later in brand damage.
  4. Are you fighting an almost impossible problem to solve conventionally. Some things, like driving colonoscopies are difficult. I have never found a way to drive lots of colonoscopy volume. Mammo, no problem. Colonoscopy, no dice.

Now getting back to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada…

This is not a hospital ad. Since we promote colonoscopies, I figured we might as well see what they were doing.

I am NOT recommending this type of ad… I am just toying with the idea. But if anyone is really this desperate, call me, I may have some ideas for you. At least we’d have some fun before you get fired.



2 Responses to When Outrageous Ads Help Drive Clinical Volume

  1. Angelique says:

    I think this is great! I think it actually makes the idea of getting screened less foreboding — something that especially keeps men away. I can imagine a man thinking, “Yeah, I guess I really should do that” and, if he has a choice, going to that facility.

  2. Kait Wallace says:

    I work with the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, and I would like to thank you for drawing attention to our campaign! The video above, the site (getyourbuttseen.ca) and our matching transit advertising campaign have all caused quite a stir here in Canada. While we have received some negative feedback, the campaign has allowed us to capture the attention of a public woefully ignorant about colorectal cancer’s deadliness.

    Your fourth point hit the nail on the head: it IS difficult to get people in the target demographic (50+ years old) to get screened. We chose an edgy campaign both to grab the attention of of our target demographic AND to familiarize Canada’s youth with the disease and cultivate a society where this disease can be discussed without embarrassment. Canadians have to face the truth and face the butt!

    Kait Wallace
    Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: