We live, sleep, breathe and eat healthcare marketing for a living, and there are great examples all over of health systems that do health system positioning and service line marketing really, really well. But being fully vested in any one category can contribute to groupthink, doing what everyone else is doing because, well, everyone else is doing it.
Which is why we love to look outside healthcare marketing for inspiration.
Two of our favorite new commercials are for State Farm insurance and Amazon.
Geico showed us years ago that car insurance commercials could entertain and persuade, disrupting a category that for years had been mired in boring, easy to ignore advertising that took the consumer for granted.
State Farm’s new spot shows that smart humor can reinforce the brand positioning: in this case, State Farm’s focus on great customer experiences. This commercial does what great broadcast advertising has always done: tell a compelling story, emphasize the company’s core position and consumer benefit, and reward the viewer for surrendering 30 seconds of his/her time.
Healthcare marketing takeaway: Humor can be a powerful tool in healthcare marketing and advertising, but remember the line, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Benny Hill-style antics don’t play well in healthcare marketing. Health audiences want to share a laugh with healthcare brands, but they don’t want to perceive the brand as being a clown.
Another healthcare marketing takeaway is the emphasis State Farm played in marketing to men, who are an emerging health audience. Notice the wife at the end of the spot, which is subtle but well done. State Farm knows what healthcare marketers seeking to appeal to male audiences should know, which is: market your services to men, but make sure to appeal to the woman in the home, who will validate the decisions and reinforce future purchases.
Amazon resisted the traditional advertising model for years, preferring to build its brand one great customer experience at a time. Kindle opened the door to a way for Amazon to reach more consumers, build deeper relationships and innovate the publishing industry.
Their new commercial picks up on the innovation theme, sharing the many innovations big and small Amazon has done to make our lives a little different, and a little better.
Healthcare marketing takeaway: Notice how Amazon shows slices of life that are both common and unexpected. What we promise in healthcare is what happens to our patients out of the hospital – back to life, back to work, back to the things that matter. For your health system ad campaigns, challenge yourself to humanize the healthcare experience, knowing what matters most to your patients isn’t the technology but the benefits that the technology provides.
Another takeaway from Amazon’s branding efforts for hospitals and health system positioning campaigns: note how Amazon shares its successes without feeling boastful, and leaves the door open to the possibilities of what’s next for the brand – and, consequently, the audience.
Does your healthcare branding tout claims in a personable way, making or reinforcing a connection?
Read more about marketing to men in our very own blog series: