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About the Client

HCA East Florida, a division of HCA (NYSE: HCA), is a group of fourteen hospitals strategically located throughout Southeast Florida.

The Challenge

Existing ER billboards had become stale and unnoticed.

Historically, the emergency services have been the key driver of downstream revenue to its inpatient and outpatient facilities. To promote the ER, HCA has traditionally deployed billboards along major thoroughfares that touted its short wait times. This approach, which the system used for several years, was seen as both innovative and effective. Despite its success, marketing leadership feared the approach had become stale and was looking to refresh its creative strategy.


Hypochondria is a major driver of website searches for health information.

One of the most competitive healthcare markets in the country, South Florida’s highways are littered with hospital billboards, all with similar messages of short wait times, higher quality and superior service levels (“we care more”). The ideal approach would have to engage the market in a new, more creative manner…and we would need the ability to be able to track efficacy.

The Strategy

Post “blind” billboards that drive viewers to a microsite to learn if they might get an unfamiliar medical condition.

We posted a series of billboards throughout the marketplace that featured unfamiliar medical terms of conditions that send people to the ER. We then asked the question, “Will it happen to me?” and provided consumers a place to go online to learn more. Our launch billboard featured Pyrexia, which is a fancy word for fever. When consumers went online they were able to learn more about this condition in a fun, interactive setting. And, of course, we made it easy to access the locations, wait times and addresses of the health system’s emergency rooms.

The Results

Visits to the ER landing page soared.

Initially tested on only one location in the Miami market, The Pyrexia billboard drove more than 1,320 visits to in the first 12 days of the campaign. Over the next seven months, the website received 9,528 visits that each lasted nearly 3 minutes long.


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