Case study: A campaign about losing gains big results

A sample of what this highly successful campaign looked like. This imagery and message worked perfectly across both digital and traditional media, grabbing attention and yielding excellent results.

A sample of what this highly successful campaign looked like. This imagery and message worked perfectly across both digital and traditional media, grabbing attention and yielding excellent results.

Just recently, our agency did a campaign for a healthcare client. It was a cool assignment… they had a relatively successful weight-loss surgery program that kept multiple surgeons and a staff of nurses, nutritionists and a psychiatrist busy full time, but they were looking for ways to drive even more patients to the program. We had our work cut out for us, though…

The audience we were targeting is notoriously tough to connect with. They’re people who are chronically obese—most of whom have spent their lives overweight, ridiculed or frustrated. Dieting hasn’t worked and a fair amount of them have developed serious, obesity-related health problems, like sleep apnea or diabetes. They’re often scared and don’t know what to do. Worse, they’re skeptical of weight-loss products and services, because so many have failed for them.

And even though most of our audience has heard of weight-loss surgery, they aren’t comfortable talking about it. They usually just go online and read, but go no further.

The client gave us two, specific goals for this campaign:

1. Get more potential patients to call about the program.

2. If we can’t get them to call, at least prompt them to visit the program’s website, where they could read about the program and watch a video covering the program’s weight-loss surgery seminar.

Our approach…

First, we crafted the messaging and creative. So many ads in this category say the same thing: “I had surgery, and now I look great!” with images of tape measures or someone holding up their old, giant pants. We took a different approach, because, well, that’s who we are. We love to look at a category, see what everyone is doing, and run down a different path.

We thought it would be much more compelling to combine the benefits of both vanity and health into a single, big benefit: A sample headline… Got rid of my sleep apnea & got my life back.

For imagery, we featured realistic shots of people who look like they’re going through the process—not unbelievable, stick-like models. That would be an over promise, and remember, this crowd is already skeptical. In one image (shown here), we even used humor… showing someone who went through the procedure now looking very “Don Juan,” and dancing with a woman. The take-away… your health and life can improve from this, like this guy.

Then, we did a four-month media blitz. We utilized a multi-media campaign to reach our target audience, including geo and behaviorally targeted web banners on carefully selected sites, traditional print, broadcast and lots of out-of-home… the campaign appeared in malls, at transit stations, on billboards and more.

So, did it work? Yes! A mere halfway through the campaign, calls to the program doubled and web traffic tripled. The best part? A whole lot of people are now more familiar and comfortable with this pathway to health.

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group

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