‘Choose Wisely’ Is Hospital’s Message via Lewis

ATLANTA Advertising for Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, set to launch this month, urges patients and caregivers to seek important information before deciding on a hospital.

Lewis Communications created the work for the St. Louis hospital, whose account the Nashville, Tenn., shop won in October following a review against a handful of undisclosed agencies.

Television spots will roll out on St. Louis network affiliates and cable stations. Large space print ads will appear in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, said Steve Dennison, agency vice president and account supervisor.

The commercials, directed by Sasha Levinson of Zooma Zooma in New York, introduce “It’s your life. Choose wisely” as a tagline. Two spots, “Telephone Call” and “Videotape,” both in 60- and 30-second versions, show family members talking about upcoming heart surgery. A woman on the phone with her father discusses her concerns about an upcoming procedure in one ad. She fights back tears while explaining why it is imperative that he gets the right information before choosing a hospital. Another spot shows a teenage boy addressing his father via video camera. He awkwardly addresses his fears regarding his dad’s pending surgery, urging him to “do [your] homework” before selecting a facility.

The client hopes that the sobering messages will encourage patients to arm themselves with vital data, such as number of procedures performed, results, complication rates and the experience levels of doctors and nurses, said Dave Nowak, communications and marketing manager for MBMC.

According to the agency, the focus of the new campaign is to empower patients to play a significant role in their own and their family’s healthcare by asking questions and making informed decisions. “We looked at this like a public service that the hospital provides,” said Cindy Sargent, vice president and art director at Lewis. “It’s getting people to understand that they have a right to shop for the right healthcare.”

Print ads will also refer patients and caregivers to a new hospital-sponsored Web site and a telephone number for additional information.

Campaign spending was not disclosed.