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The Top 10 Hospital Commercials of 2018

The best hospital commercials of 2018 don’t scream “hospitals” or even “healthcare” – they focus on people and emotions.

While most ads we saw were still doing the same ol’ thing – mostly bragging about themselves – these gems made you stop, think and feel.

A quote I love from Robert Kiyosaki, a motivational speaker: “The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems.” Kudos to these hospitals for moving past that fear and finding fresh ways to relate to their audience.

To find our winning ads, we ask: Does the commercial:

  • Make a memorable point with a lasting takeaway?
  • Stand out, by using unusual imagery, storytelling methods or comparisons?
  • Provoke an emotional response that’s appropriate?

Starting with #10, we present you with the top hospital advertisements of 2018.

#10: Mercy Urgent Care West

This TV spot is different from any other commercial on this list. It tells a story of kids and their creative imaginations. A zip line – what could go wrong? Luckily, there’s Mercy Urgent Care West. This spot proves you can create something effective with a smaller budget – and that’s a winner in my book.

#9: Gundersen Health System

Parents, raise your hand if you can relate to this one! Everyone is screaming the importance of healthy eating. But getting your kids to oblige? Easier said than done. No worries – Gundersen has your back and supports your efforts to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

#8: Henry Ford Health System*

Henry Ford nails the perfect use of sponsorships in healthcare advertising. They deliver a powerful, audience-centric message while capitalizing on the hype of the football season after taking Tramadol on sale.

#7: MUSC Health*

If you’ve ever chased your child through a café or had a park outing end with a doctor’s visit, you’ll be nodding your head as you watch this ad. We’re with you in spirit, mom-in-MUSC-commercial. And that’s what makes it so effective.

#6: Hoops Family Children’s Hospital

You may be wondering where they’re going with this healthcare ad featuring pint-sized football players – and it’s precisely the unusual comparison that creates a memorable commercial. People love football, and people love kids. It’s an unexpected combo but it works.

#5: Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine draws connections between your firsts (first step, first kiss) and its own historic firsts (first robotic head and neck surgery, first IVF birth in Philly). It’s impressive – and relatable.

#4: Ballad Health

Here’s another goodie from Ballad Health, but a little lighter this time. Everyone – from an adorable baby to talking birds – is thrilled these patients are back to doing what they love after joint replacement surgery. You’ll be smiling for Bob, Janice and Kayla, too.

#3: UPMC

Don’t be afraid to speak the truth. That’s UPMC’s approach in this commercial. They’re upfront about the perils of waiting for a liver transplant and how living donors save more lives. It’s an honest – and effective – message.

#2: Main Line Health

When something devastating like a stroke happens, there is hope. Main Line Health shows a real person facing a real problem – and finding a real solution. Life isn’t perfect, but it can have happy endings. This ad offers hope and optimism for people facing healthcare challenges.

#1: Allegheny Health Network

AHN made our list in previous years, and they have another winner in 2018. No music or voiceover necessary – the poignant text and images speak for themselves. You think the ad is about the baby in the NICU, but then you realize “Katelyn” is someone else. It’s short, simple and clever. If this isn’t #livingproof of Allegheny’s marketing message, I’m not sure what is.

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See previous years’ hospital commercial roundups below:

*Note: this is an Aha Media Group client.

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About Ahava Leibtag

Ahava Leibtag, MA

Ahava R. Leibtag has more than 20 years of experience in writing, messaging and marketing. She is a well-recognized content expert and writes thought leadership about content strategy and content marketing. Ahava is the President and owner of Aha Media Group, a content strategy and content marketing consultancy founded in October 2005. She... More >