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5 Apr

4 Incredibly Inspiring Marketing Campaigns in Healthcare

The healthy living, fitness, and nutrition space is undergoing a massive growth spurt. The biggest change is that there are new ‘healthy lifestyle’ consumers who are hungry for resources and information.

According to a Accenture study, which analyzed the performance of 17 of the world’s largest healthcare, fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle brands over a five-year period, the consumer healthcare market is expected to grow to $ 737 billion by 2017.

Along with developing a persona for the new ‘healthy lifestyle’ consumer, Accenture shared the following takeaways:

By 2017, 1.7 billion smartphones and tablets will likely have a mobile health app installed.

At present the requirements of health-oriented consumers are going unheard, and to fill that void companies from varied industries like mobile telecommunications, electronics and high tech, are entering the space.

In recent times the competition in this space has increased phenomenally as many traditional leaders from the life sciences and consumer goods sectors have tended to maintain a product and brand approach versus a customer outcome focus.

For those who understand this market dynamic, there is a massive opportunity for healthcare marketers to jump in and make a lasting impact among the target audience. Brands which provide value to their audience, demonstrating a sense of empathy, and integrating engaging campaigns into their core business models will succeed.

Here are 4 classic examples of healthcare campaign that have managed to strike the right cord:

1. GRAACC – Bald Cartoons

A child with cancer fights against two problems: the disease itself and the prejudice, which needs everybody’s help. GRAACC hospital, the Pediatric Oncology Institute, located in Brazil, came up with this ‘Bald Cartoons’ campaign to change people’s perception of children with cancer. More than 40 favourite cartoons shaved their heads to support kids with cancer and appeared all over the media to show that a bald kid can do everything others kids do. They didn’t create any new content; just the bald cartoons appeared doing what they always did. They even created a microsite for the campaign.


  • 91% of Brazilians on social media supported the campaign
  • Special episodes aired on: Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Fox Kids etc
  • The message was spread all over the world & reached 230 million people
  • People engaged with the campaign, sharing videos, downloading posters or changing profile pictures
  • Comic strips were featured in newspapers/magazines such as Folha de São Paulo, Combo Rangers and Monica’s Gang
  • Even the President of the country should her support for the campaign on Twitter

2. The CDC’s Educational Hub

Health advocates and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have some of the most important jobs in the United States, as they’re responsible for educating the country about healthy life choices.

For this purpose, the CDC has published a series of educational wellness and prevention videos about topics like sexual health, teen health, and asthma. These videos are designed to help consumers make more informed life choices — they simplify complex topics into digestible and actionable information.

In addition to creating informational videos, the CDC also shares personal stories from the community. For instance, in one video a woman shares her experience about living with HIV as a mom.

The organization’s distribution strategy:

  • CDC incorporates these videos into their own teaching materials
  • They empower other organizations to become their own resource hubs, like educators from community groups, nonprofits, advocates, and schools
  • Consumers can rely on this resource to learn about health topics like quitting smoking, emergency preparedness, and environmental health in depth
  • The YouTube videos, which often rank highly in search, provide a point of introduction between information-hungry online audience and the CDC
  • Audiences can further engage with the CDC by reading articles, sharing news, and staying up to date with important public health trends
  • Nonprofits and professional organizations can further build upon the CDC’s mission by distributing the organization’s content

3. Carilion Clinic’s #YESMAMM Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Over five years ago, in a bid to raise awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection, Carilion Clinic of Virginia’s Roanoke Valley started the “Yes, Mamm” campaign. Whether using the hashtag to answer common breast cancer questions in a Twitter chat, Pinterest or driving traffic to their website to encourage women to make an appointment at one of their screening locations, #YESMAMM is a perfect example of the power of hashtags to start a movement.

When clinicians noticed that many women over 40 in the Roanoke Valley were not getting mammograms, they decided to provide screening locations throughout western Virginia for all women – regardless of their ability to pay. Adding a social element to their campaign significantly expanded the reach of this message and increased Carilion’s Twitter follower count from under 3,000 to 4,605.

4. Noémi Association – The Eyes of a Child

French advocacy group Noémi Association invited parents and their children to play an educational game. Sitting side-by-side with a barricade blocking their view of one another, the adults and children were shown images of people contorting their faces into humorous positions. The parents and their kids were told to mimic each face.

The last person shown making a funny face to be mimicked was someone with a disability. Every child continued playing the game light-heartedly, while every parent stopped, expressing looks of concern, sadness and reservation.

“Let’s see the difference with the eyes of a child,” the PSA concludes, encouraging viewers to perceive persons with disabilities as they would anyone else, as the children did.

As the Dana Foundation points out, U.S. society is in need of much improvement in terms of the acceptance and accommodation of those with intellectual disabilities. Stigma surrounding such disabilities runs “deeper than any label or medical term; it is rooted in a long history of societal perceptions and misconceptions that have categorized people as mentally deficient and, therefore, somehow less than fully human.”

Noémi Association aims for the public to look at persons with disabilities in a positive light while respecting their dignity and bringing them happiness.

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