Tasked by Baylor Scott & White Health with creating a campaign that wouldn't show hospitals or lean on other familiar tropes of medical marketing, the Launch Agency took a novel approach.
In cinematic spots for the Texas healthcare system, directed by Tool of North America's Jaci Judelson, the action on screen takes place in the present, showing patients post-treatment, living their lives to the fullest with family and friends. The vibe is reflective but upbeat, with sunny scenes of woodland hikes and days at the beach, far from physicians' offices or the antiseptic halls of a typical medical center.
Audio tracks relate events from the recent past and provide backstories. For example, in the first spot below, titled "Good News," we hear a physician inform a young cancer survivor of some even better news than she was expecting.
The next two ads follow a similar course—we see patients enjoying good health and fun activities, while audio "flashbacks" explain how they reached such positive points in their lives:
"We want the audience to think, 'There's a healthcare system that wants to keep me out of the hospital, that places a high value of importance on the quality of my life, that doesn't want to advertise to me in the way other health systems advertise,'" Launch Agency account director Jason Giles tells Muse.
Indeed, the compelling films provide an elegant way to link hospital care with patient wellness, while never over-reaching or veering into too-good-to-be-true territory.
The agency credits Judelson, a past collaborator on Baylor Scott projects, and cinematographer Colin Watkinson, best known for The Handmaid's Tale, with achieving an almost poetic narrative balance in each commercial.
For the most part, the ads feature non-actors, with "Good News" showing a real family. "That's why their chemistry is so authentic," notes agency creative director and writer April Steinbach. "Jaci has such a way with directing talent and is very involved in the casting."
Actually, casting led to a big challenge during filming. The lead performer in the "Dive In" spot revealed at the last minute—just as he had to scale a diving board—that he feared heights and couldn't swim.
"Through a combination of compassion, support and teamwork from our director, Jaci, her AD—who was physically on the board with [the panicked guy]—and the entire crew, our actor was willed to achieve what we all hoped he would: a great performance," says agency creative and art director Dean Oram.
Client: Baylor Scott & White Health
Director: Jaci Judelson
Director of Photography: Colin Watkinson
Production Company: Tool of North America
Principal/Creative Director: David Wilgus, Launch Agency
Principal/Creative Director: Diane Seimetz, Launch Agency
Creative Director/Art Director: Dean Oram, Launch Agency
Creative Director/Copywriter: April Steinbach, Launch Agency
Producer: Jaime Roderer, Launch Agency
Account Director: Jason Giles, Launch Agency
Account Supervisor: Macy Barbee, Launch Agency
Editor: Jack Waldrip, Charlie Uniform Tango
Sound Design: Jake Kluge, Russell Smith, Charlie Uniform Tango
Music: Nick Patronella, Charlie Uniform Tango