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Shopping is Good for Your Health
National Public Awareness Campaign
Wanting to introduce its medical referral services and 24-hour nurse-operated hotline to its corporate clients and specific media outlets, Dallas Medical Resource (DMR) set out to create a consumer friendly campaign.  DMR, a non-profit consortium of nine major medical centers, looked to Betty Lovell to create a campaign that would increase calls to the hotline and referrals to Dallas’ hospitals for major medical care. Lovell wanted the program to “speak” to consumers. She created the campaign, “Shopping is Good for Your Health,” using the “Cathy” cartoon character as DMR’s national spokesperson, incorporating the character’s love of shopping.
Find a way to break the barriers associated with communicating health benefits to consumers.
Secure a spokesperson for the campaign on a limited budget.
Create a campaign slogan and theme that grabbed the attention of consumers.
Work with corporate clients and insurers to target the messages and create materials that were adaptable for each audience.
Identified, by use of survey, that over 80% of health care decisions are made by women, and set out to speak to women.
Secured an endorsement by the cartoon character “Cathy” with a limited budget. The licensing agreement with creator Cathy Guisewite was far less expensive than the cost of a typical spokesperson.
Developed consumer brochures and newsletters. One of the direct mail pieces included a magnet, which displayed the 800-phone number and "Cathy" proclaiming “shopping is good for your health.”
Targeted consumer and trade media and pitched the story from a variety of angles (e.g. corporate, insurer, hospital, physician, etc.).
Received a 48% increase in calls to the hotline and an 18% increase in referrals to Dallas hospitals through DMR for major medical care during the first three months of the campaign.
Secured articles in key media including feature stories in The Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post as well as coverage on all major affiliates including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, with a feature segment on The McNeil/Lehr Hour
Additionally, stories were featured in several trade publications including Health Care Business Outcomes, Modern Healthcare, Strategic Healthcare Initiatives, and Healthcare Marketing.
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Lovell secured the cartoon character “Cathy,” known for her love of shopping, to appear in print pieces that encouraged consumers to “shop” for qualified physicians and hospitals.