Advertising in the health care sector has rarely been regarded as innovative. Most campaigns tend to feature smiling doctors and attractive patients, all in soft focus with beautiful surroundings.
The formula had become so standard, that when Healthcare Partners conducted a public survey, it became apparent that most consumers were unable to distinguish between different healthcare providers.
Healthcare Partners was unusual in the sector for offering a large amount of its services online. Patients were able to make appointments, check the progress of test results and communicate with medical personnel. Consumer confidence, and competence, in internet technology meant that healthcare could move to an increasingly online model, following the trend of other "secure" business sectors, such as banking and insurance.
Despite offering this new approach to health services, Healthcare Partners was still falling behind its competitors for a share of the market. It was decided that the best way to promote non-traditional services was to use non-traditional marketing methods, and the "A new way to look at healthcare" campaign was created.
The boldly designed posters used bright colours and cheerful graphics to promote the message. The firm took its big idea quite literally and constructed a number of giant medical props, each associated with a different benefit to the service, for display in prominent city centre locations. One of the props - a specimen cup - was adopted as the campaign mascot, Petey P.Cup who went on tour around sporting events and busy public places. Petey had his own Facebook page, and was readily adopted by Healthcare Partners staff as the new face of the company.
The Petey mascot was indicative of the Healthcare Partners approach to connecting with their consumers. The idea proved successful enough that the formula was repeated with Pokey the syringe, created to promote the same day testing service, and the two characters were given their own website, peteyandpokey.com.
The campaign saw an increase in monthly registrations of over 30%, and raised brand awareness for Healthcare Partners by more than 10 points over its nearest competitor.