Corporate and consumer   Health care

Finding patients (and doctors) in their natural element

For Virginia Mason, Virginia Mason Memorial


  • Multimedia, video & radio production
  • Advertising design & development
  • Business-to-business (B2B) & Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing strategy
  • Creative strategy
  • Marketing research
  • Media placement & purchase
  • Out-of-home (OOH) & environmental marketing

The challenge

Seattle-based Virginia Mason already had a stellar brand — fresh, contemporary, patient-focused — that showcased its specialty services and leading-edge facilities.

Now it was expanding its primary care network, offering adult medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health and other services. Virginia Mason needed to build awareness throughout the Puget Sound region that it could meet patients’ day-to-day health care needs — the thrown-out backs, the annual physicals, the whole-family care.

In the competitive health care space, our challenge was to create a campaign that would stand out and quickly convey the distinct qualities of Virginia Mason’s expanded services. And it needed to jibe with the hospital system’s approachable but sophisticated brand.

Then, a few months later, we faced an additional challenge: adapting the Seattle-area campaign to accommodate a whole different set of goals for Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima. The Yakima hospital — situated in an agricultural region in central Washington — wanted to attract more patients to its specialized service areas by raising the profiles of its cardiac, orthopedic, oncology and women’s health doctors.

Our Seattle Seahawks-themed video launched shortly before the team’s season — tapping into a certain kind of fever.

The strategy

We’re all a little wild, in our own ways. Like when the Seattle Seahawks fan throws out his back — by cheering too hard in the living room.

To reach our savvy, nature-loving Puget Sound audiences, we created a campaign that highlighted patients in their natural environments — and the daily dangers they face there — while positioning Virginia Mason’s primary care services as a convenient and accessible survival tool. We invited our narrator to channel naturalist David Attenborough, and we added slow-mo shots and music with a nature-documentary feel. The campaign extended from TV to digital, print and outdoor media. 

We chose our wild ones carefully, to tell stories that would resonate with those likely to access the hospital system’s services. We knew we needed to reach women ages 25 to 49 with families, because mothers make most of the health care decisions for their families. We also wanted to reach young professionals — those in need of preventive care and day-to-day medical services who hadn’t yet found a medical home.

People in both those groups live busy lives. Fortunately, Virginia Mason had a mobile app for making appointments and accessing a virtual clinic, plus lots of other ways that make it easy to fit its services into tight schedules. Integral to our strategy was to show the convenience of the Virginia Mason’s primary care services.

To adapt the campaign for Yakima, we changed the message, focusing on doctors rather than patients. But we kept the underlying concept — inviting groups of specialists to gather for video shoots in hops fields and apple orchards to highlight the Yakima region’s natural environment. Our Attenborough-esque narrator returned to introduce the doctors.

For their hours spent with a rain machine, the actors playing the soccer mom and soccer kids in this spot won our hearts.

Billboards in the Seattle area reinforced the message of our nature-doc spots.

What we did

In total, we produced three patient-focused spots aired for Virginia Mason, which ran throughout the Puget Sound region. A series of billboards extended the campaign’s reach.

 In Yakima, we created three doctor-focused spots, supported by print ads and billboards that sent people to the Virginia Mason Memorial website. 

How hard is it to get this many doctors to stand in a field of hops in Yakima? Kind of hard — but worth it, for this awareness-building spot.

Print ads supported the video spot.


While our campaign stood out creatively, it was rooted in data: We knew who we needed to reach and what they needed to hear. Our combination of smart strategy and inspired concept attracted patients.

Virginia Mason reported an increase of about 25% in the number of primary care patients. In Yakima, our campaign drove more than 12,000 people directly to Virginia Mason Memorial’s website.