Category Archives: advertising

What The Smash Broadway Hit Hamilton Teaches Healthcare About Marketing

Describing the Broadway play Hamilton as a smash hit is a huge understatement. Nonstop media coverage, standing room only, tickets being scalped for thousands of dollars — demand vastly outstrips supply.


If you happened to see the Tony Awards the other night, you saw Hamilton front and center, sweeping the night with 11 awards. Even the President and First Lady did a pitch about Hamilton during the awards show, with Obama touting, “a civics lesson kids can’t get enough of!”

Hamilton is a great example of how popular entertainment can get people engaged and excited about what otherwise may seem uninteresting. How popular entertainment call sell powerful ideas.

Hamilton is selling a great history lesson about the founding of America. As Obama put it, “in this telling, rap is the language of revolution.  Hip-hop is the backbeat.” Who would have thought it??

Well, why not?! And why not apply that same open-minded thinking to selling healthcare, insurance, medical devices, and health IT?

Bottom line, your products and services exist to restore and promote health – that’s really important. Some promise small improvements, others revolutionary changes. Challenge your marketing minds to think outside-the-box (even if Legal makes you reign things in later!) and create a Hamilton level of buzz and demand about the improvements your offerings make.

Whether your campaign is powered by rap or rock, whether it uses humor or tragedy, whether it looks backwards or far into the future, you can stand out. You can get people excited about a technology or product that may otherwise seem uninteresting. Harness your creativity and imagination to deeply engage your customers and patients. Use research to make sure it works.

As Barbra Streisand put it when introducing the final Tony Award for the best musical: “Celebrate the beauty that artistry can bring into the world.”

Help your customers and the world see the beauty and artistry in  the value your company provides.

Better Med Tech Marketing Campaigns: The “Donald Trump” Lesson

MTMUnlike the most controversial presidential hopeful Donald Trump, med tech marketing campaigns often shy away from saying what they really mean. Call it political correctness, fear of failure, legal restrictions, or CYA. But regardless of what is driving the ambiguity, the result is watered down messages and poorer results. Say what you believe as explicitly as you can – at least in your brainstorming and creative strategy development. Then (also unlike Donald!) tame it in your message execution if you have to.

In the 1990 movie Crazy People, Dudley Moore was an advertising exec turned mental patient who got his fellow patients to create wildly successful campaigns. Their gift was honesty – unvarnished, blunt, explicit honesty. For example, their Jaguar car campaign targeting men showed a scantily clad woman next to a shiny new Jag with the line “Buy a Jaguar. Get Laid.” Now most of us may not be able to get away with that degree of explicitness in our ads, but we can in our creative thinking.

I recently saw a billboard for a mortgage firm that boldly proclaimed “your loan sucks.” Which is more typically the unspoken claim. As always with bold messaging, you need to weigh the attention-getting effect against the turn-off effect.  Check out our “Think/Feel/Do” messaging framework here, for more guidance.

So, in extremely plain language, answer this: What is it that are you not saying, but you want customers to think? Then do your customer messaging research to see just how explicit you can be, while improving your reputation and increasing sales.

Oral B’s “Wrong Reason” 2 Minute Toothbrushing App

How to you get people to do what you want them to do? One approach is what we call “right reason” marketing. If you make toothbrushes, that means rationally convince people why they should brush for 2 whole minutes – better hygiene, greater cavity prevention, etc.  Surely they’ll agree and brush away! Or not. Continue reading Oral B’s “Wrong Reason” 2 Minute Toothbrushing App

On Strategy Messaging: Obama’s New Buzzfeed Video on the Healthcare Marketplace

Posted just 5 hours ago, Obama’s video promotion of the Healthcare Marketplace on BuzzFeed already got over 10 million views. It’s part of his outreach campaign using unconventional media outlets to target Millennials.

Continue reading On Strategy Messaging: Obama’s New Buzzfeed Video on the Healthcare Marketplace

Esurance Gets Off Track with “7 1/2” Minutes Campaign

Esurance has some really good campaigns that reflect a solid positioning strategy and express a compelling value proposition around saving money online. However, the new campaign misses the< mark by shifting the focus to saving time – 7 1/2 minutes to be exact.

Continue reading Esurance Gets Off Track with “7 1/2” Minutes Campaign

Is the New Viagra Ad Going Too Far?

Viagra’s new TV ad is meant to make the drug stand out from competing ED pill Cialis. Until now, both pharma companies Pfizer (Viagra) and Lilly (Cialis) took the same messaging approach, essentially showing a strong middle aged man getting manly things done. It was a message of self-reliance, that with help from a little pill, would extend into the bedroom as well.

Continue reading Is the New Viagra Ad Going Too Far?