Keeping a clear head

Healthcare advertising, like all types of advertising, relies on clarity of thought. That tends to be what the most successful campaigns do very well: express one thought clearly, in an interesting way. But often times we end up with a brief that says something like “We need to say this. And this…. Oh, this as well, please… And—if it’s not too much trouble—maybe also…”

So, what’s the problem with this approach? If there are a handful of compelling reasons to choose a specific product or service, why not load them all into a marketing blunderbuss and just scattergun our target audience with them all at once?

Well, imagine I threw you a single tennis ball. Pretty easy to catch one ball, right? Now, imagine if I threw you five at once. You won’t catch all five. In fact, throwing five makes it harder to even catch one. You see the issue…

Naturally complex cases

In healthcare advertising, complexity is compounded by the rules of the industry. Products may only work in certain circumstances that have to be made clear from the get-go. Claims often need to be very specifically worded, which doesn’t lend them to simplification. Even substantiating claims can add another layer of convolution.

This is why it’s especially crucial to drill down to a single vision. Stand firm on the ‘one thing you want to say’. If it’s not enough of an argument, think again about the brief. What is the real problem that needs to be solved?

The power of one

Here are a few great examples of healthcare campaigns that drill down to one clear, compelling thought:

photo of two balls of dough laying on a powdered table, representing breasts. The words
Credit: McCann Health

I love this whole concept. A clever way to get ‘upstream’ of censorship. The way they make the solution relatable to their audience. The simple, direct instructions are done in a non-patronising way. All with the patient at its heart. No wonder it won everything going.

The genius in this thought is the way they hijack a traditional custom to make things easy and seamless for the audience. Take away the complications for anxious mothers and busy doctors. Again, the patients’ needs are driving the solution.

three photos of people as candles who are halfway burned through
Credit: 21GRAMS

We are inundated with ads every day, and it’s no different for doctors. Using a visual analogy to make your point saves time for these busy folks. And when you apply craft, meaning, insight, art direction… it creates something that is memorable for them. Win, win.

Success through simplicity

We’ve just had some incredible results from our 2022 Blue Balloon campaign for a leading medical device company. It’s a testament to all the above: a simple idea that distils what it’s like to live with Type 1 Diabetes. It became a global success story because the idea is simple and easy to understand. The only downside is that we now have to improve on it for 2023!

All of these ideas are winners because they are simple, clear thoughts expressed with craft and intelligence. Answering complex problems with simple solutions.

So, strip back all the clutter and noise until you have a laser-focused vision. Then execute it in a fresh, engaging way. Simple, right? Once you have mastered this approach, your advertising will grow wings.

You might want to see a doctor about that.

Need a simple idea to cut through the noise? Give us a call

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