Virginia Mason had a team of world-class surgeons doing cutting-edge work, and they thought it would be effective to put one of them in a television commercial. They thought this would raise awareness about the breakthrough work being done there and eventually increase the number of people choosing Virginia Mason as their healthcare provider. Unfortunately, they wanted a doctor to recite a script to the camera—something he had never done before. We gently countered with a different marketing strategy: Let’s interview him. This was the beginning of Team Medicine Minutes, a campaign that ran for three years.
They showed a lot of trust in us. So we worked hard to prepare for the interviews with a significant amount of research, questions, and writing. It paid off. Each time, we were able to distill our conversations with these amazing surgeons into easily digestible stories about the difference they made to real people in our community. The viewers were able to better understand the complex subject matter because they could relate to it. As the campaign matured, the hospital could see that something had really clicked.
Virginia Mason came back year after year for more commercials. The result was over 25 interviews, $3 million a year in media purchased, a national Telly Award for writing and directing, and a double-digit increase in the number of people choosing Virginia Mason as their healthcare provider.