At Walk West (formerly Greenroom Communications), we know how fortunate we are to have amazing clients like Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC. For the second time in the last year, we’ve partnered with its marketing team on a video concept that goes way beyond a typical health care piece. It required strategic planning, creative chops from the entire team and the courage to push the envelope past conventional medical marketing.
The work paid off in the number of views, positive sentiment and recognition from national healthcare and marketing publications. Below is the most recent article about “Rex Women’s Center: The Musical.”
Funny Maternity Video Spurs Sharing, Engagement
May 20, 2015
Humor isn’t always appropriate in healthcare, but when it’s used appropriately, humor can spark engagement without being offensive.
The battle for maternity service line market share has been intensifying, and as moms-to-be increasingly turn to social media and word of mouth for healthcare recommendations, hospitals have been scrambling to come up with inventive ways to supplement their traditional marketing mix to best reach their target audience.
Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, NC, addressed this dilemma with one of the most creative efforts I’ve seen yet—a funny music video based on the familiar schoolyard rhyme and jump-roping chant known variously as “Miss Susie Had a Steamboat,” “Miss Susie Had a Tugboat,” and other names.
Many memorable advertising campaigns are funny. But “humor isn’t always appropriate in healthcare,” says Lisa Schiller, vice president of marketing for the 660-bed hospital. “We work in a serious field that affects people’s lives. However, there are a few areas where humor can be an asset without being offensive.”
And the two-minute video promoting Rex’s Women’s Center certainly accomplishes just that. The spot uses an actress playing a pregnant woman singing about her experiences with everything from unwanted advice to Rex’s birthing class to the comfort of their birthing suites, all in a way that doesn’t hit you over the head with the message. Some Rex doctors and nurses feature prominently, too.
“Our marketing team was looking for a fun and memorable way to share the services available and [the] experience for mothers who deliver at Rex Women’s Center,” Schiller says. “Our video partner, Walk West (formerly Greenroom Communications), is well-known for creating humorous videos that effectively deliver messages. Based on our successful experience last fall creating a humorous video to explain the difference between using an emergency room and urgent care, we decided the same concept could work for our women’s services.”
Once the Rex marketing team shared its goals and key messages with Walk West (formerly Greenroom Communications), the creative director suggested the video take the form of a musical and developed a script. Marketers then tested the script with community members in the target audience and tweaked it based on feedback. Once the concept was finalized, the production team worked with Rex staff members and actors to shoot the video.
“Response from co-workers, physicians and patients has been fantastic,” Schiller says. “We’ve seen an increase in ‘likes’ and comments on Facebook have been positive and fun. More importantly, people are sharing the video and helping spread our message.” One unintended benefit of the video production was the team-bonding that occurred between Women’s Center co-workers and physician who participated in the filming.
While the video was a soft sell for Rex’s Women’s Center, the patients commenting on social media were effusive in their praise. “I never wanted to leave the Rex Resort!” one woman wrote. “Best place to deliver. Almost wished I had a C-section so I could stay a few more days… just kidding : ) Hands down best experience!”
“I cried when I left,” another patient shared. “I loved the staff so much lol. My nurses were amazing and I could tell they loved their job!”
“People like to be entertained versus being sold on a product or service,” Schiller says. “No longer is our brand what we tell people it is, it’s what they tell each other. This video, distributed through social sharing, allowed women to tell each other about their Rex experience, and why Rex is the most preferred hospital in our community to deliver a baby.”
The Women’s Center video, which launched on May 7, has been viewed more than 7,000 times on YouTube, and has more than 350 likes and 100+ shares on Facebook. Schiller attributes Rex’s social success to the following tactics:
1. Creating content that is engaging, entertaining and/or educating.
2. Integrating YouTube videos with other social channels and web content.
3. Recognizing that paid media plays a role in effective video content marketing by providing higher click-through and view rates through hyper-targeting options.
4. Strategically tagging the video.
5. Encouraging conversation in the local community via forums, influencers, and news outlets so that the video is shared through other social channels in addition to our own.
“When online engagement tactics are integrated to deliver relevant, timely and targeted content to consumers, the marketing content and the brand become respected as the authority to help the customer,” she says. “It’s about delivering content, whether with video or [other means], through the most effective channels to reach the target audience and meet the goals of the organization.