‘Sister Rosalie’ Takes Flight

A flying nun–airborne in the traditional sense–is the centerpiece of an estimated $1 million regional campaign for St. Joseph Healthcare in Albuquerque, N.M.
Created by Rick Johnson & Co., New Mexico’s largest ad agency, two 30-second spots and a supporting print initiative provide a forum for the hospital’s new provider service organization (PSO) plan for seniors on Medicare.
The plan is an alternative to HMOs, providing more control over patient care to physicians, the hospital states. The ads broke last week in the Albuquerque market, with the TV flight slated through March 1.
“This is a really mature managed care market,” said agency senior vice president and client services director Pam Schneider.
Like last year’s inaugural campaign for St. Joseph, Albuquerque-based Rick Johnson & Co. employed a nun, “Sister Rosalie,” to symbolize the hospital’s roots as a mission of the Sisters of Charity.
Viewers see her flying in the passenger cockpit of a biplane, which is piloted by a doctor. The new Medicare Plus PSO program is “a health plan that puts medical decisions back where they belong . . . in the hands of your doctor,” the nun states.
In the second spot, she’s riding in a side-mounted passenger seat of a 1950s Indian Chief motorcycle, with another physician driving her down the road. “It may be a road less traveled,” she says, “but it’s where health plans should go.”
The use of a vintage aircraft and motorcycle serves as a visual, nostalgic link with the targeted seniors, according to the agency.