Laughing All the Way to St. Mary’s ER

SAN FRANCISCO Motivo is breaking a new campaign today for St. Mary’s Medical Center that touts the hospital’s emergency room services.

This is the second round of ads from the San Mateo, Calif., independent shop in as many years. Motivo won the business last year without a review.

Four print ads break today in the San Francisco Chronicle; transit and outdoor work debuts on busses June 1 and bus shelters June 7, respectively.

“Doggone It!,” “Yikes!,” “Whoops!” and “Whoa!” picture four scenarios that could lead to an ER visit: a bellhop tripping over a rhinestone-studded Chihuahua, a tomboy with a slingshot running from a swarm of bees, a hapless painter falling off his ladder and a cyclist flying through the air after running into a fire hydrant.

The ads are lighthearted in a category not known for its humor.

“We wanted something unusual that would stand out from all the other hospital advertising you see,” said Andrea Eastman, director of marketing at St. Mary’s in San Francisco. “We received a lot of attention with the first series and we believe the next four ads will do the same.”

Last year, one month after the shop’s original campaign launched, hospital ER volume showed a steady 20 percent increase, said Motivo principal Adrienne Parker.

Campaign spending is undisclosed.