Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield
The epitome of health care in the Central Valley
For more than 100 years, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield has delivered the highest standard of health care in the region. After several disappointing attempts at using an outside creative firm, MHB had almost given up finding an agency that would "get them."
In 2008, Mercy approached DMI with a challenge: create and implement a humorous, targeted, direct mail campaign to create top-of-mind awareness for the Mercy emergency rooms. Core messages were convenience, expedience, and of course — Mercy's unmistakable image and bedside manner.
DMI Agency went to work. We scouted several locations within Mercy's target geographic area. Which locations would the target recognize? Which would be memorable? To which would they relate? Once we made the selections, we produced several photo shoots. Then, we brought the imagery to life with design and messaging.
The most popular mailer featured three middle-aged "weekend warriors" playing football at a local park. As we all know, when guys get together and adrenaline starts pumping, the ER mysteriously gets busier.
In the spring of 2010, Mercy challenged DMI to create a clear, concise message with a strong call to action. The needs became clear to DMI right away — to create a message that would span the broad range of health care services Mercy provides, without excluding the focus on prevention and wellness.
Under the creative inspiration of agency principal Karen Tellalian, the simple, yet compelling statement "Take me to Mercy" was born. But still, with so many other hospitals vying for audience attention, what else would be needed to set Mercy's message apart? Unwilling to forego an "out-of-box" idea, DMI presented a unique and memorable design, using icons in place of photos. The client loved it, but unwilling to "shoot at a moving target" DMI insisted on demographic and psychographic research, along with testing the design with a large focus group. Carefully considering all the feedback, a couple of minor tweaks were made and the new launch went full steam ahead.
What better way to introduce the new concept, "Take me to Mercy"? With a transit campaign of course. City buses — 77 of them, to be exact.
After the initial launch of the transit promotion, the plan called for a multi-media campaign, including radio and television. In order to extend the brand, DMI worked with a song writer and music producer in developing a custom musical identity for Mercy.
The result? In a recent independent study conducted by National Research Corporation, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield's bus campaign has increased its recall percentage from 66 percent to an unprecedented 99 percent since the campaign's onset.
That's real people, working on a real strategy, getting real results. What could DMI be doing for you right now?