We presented our award-winning TV spots for the Michigan Department of Community Health last week at a conference on “best healthcare marketing practices” put on by Comcast. Our most popular spot, “I Smoke While I’m Coloring” (below), evoked many nods of recognition, smiles and snickers, as it always does. Every single time we show it. MDCH has been running this spot for years and it continues to charm people. Continues to keep the Quitline ringing from parents who are moved enough to want to quit smoking for their kids too.
Our co-presenter was the University of Michigan Medical Center Director of Marketing who presented the beautiful Michigan Difference TV campaign. It too continues to move people every time they see it. Including me. And I’ve been eating it up for years.
Someone commented, “Those spots are awesome, but when do you know it’s time to do something different? When is it worn out?” which started a good conversation.
It’s an age old question as there really is no magic formula. I believe there are some “classics” that are so beautifully done, we always appreciate seeing them. They can be brought back and sprinkled into evolving campaigns to trigger the original memory and further build the desired image in the minds of consumers. Without realizing it, sometimes the client is the only one “worn out” from the campaign as they’re living it day in and day out. But their target audience isn’t. Their target audience is bombarded with over 3500 messages per day. If you’re lucky enough to actually be sending one that they NOTICE and LIKE, that actually RESONATES with them, stick with it as long as it works.
But how do you know? Focus group research and quantitative surveys probing message recall/appeal and brand recognition can help substantiate the consumer’s take on things. Anecdotal comments from the community, business leaders, docs and board members should never be taken lightly (although perhaps with a rational grain of salt). Achieving marketing and communication objectives – like the phone ringing, website click-throughs and patient visits are key indicators (they also help you keep your job!). Just be sure to let your internal audiences know how well the campaign is doing externally to keep the positive ambassadorship and message pride internally.
I think you mix some good common sense with some good analytics, keeping in mind…if it aint broke, you can tinker with it a little bit, but don’t wear yourself out trying to fix it. And enjoy your good fortune.
Got any classic spots you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear about them.