A public health reality check from Oklahoma’s oldest hospital system.
As Oklahoma’s COVID-19 numbers skyrocketed in late 2020, pandemic fatigue was real. People had grown numb to masks and statistics. And even worse, hospitals were at their brink. Our health care workers were faced with an unthinkable choice of deciding who receives care and who doesn’t.
Oklahoma needed a solution that could cut through the noise, fast. So, ICG’s longtime partner SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital tasked us with a disruptive PSA campaign to do just that.
The goal: a call to care — to encourage Oklahomans to choose active responsibility every day.
We hit the ground running by joining Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt’s Power 10 initiative. Within hours of his press conference, the ICG team created and placed billboards across OKC. The initiative also included shareable calls to action across all social platforms.
The bread and butter of the campaign was a series of television and radio PSAs. And who better to make the call than health care workers themselves. We teamed up with real SSM Health nurses, doctors, and frontline workers to deliver emotional messaging that cut to the chase.
Outdoor & Print
With Oklahoma City as the epicenter of the state’s pandemic, we needed to make a big impact close to home. In tandem with Lamar Outdoor, we went big with rotating billboards along major metro highways.
The call was also made straight to doorsteps, with a number of full-page print ads in The Oklahoman. And our extensive network helped the campaign expand into dozens of rural newspapers — from El Reno to Prague, Elk City to Tecumseh.
If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that shareable content is the best way to quickly spread a message. So we took to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok with fact-based content from trusted medical professionals. This included Real Talk, an interview series where SSM Health providers took viewers behind the curtain of their COVID-19 reality, as well as regular updates from SSM Health Medical Group regional president, Dr. Kevin Lewis.
Hope is How We Heal
As the vaccine began to part the clouds, the campaign evolved with a lighter future-forward outlook. In addition to masking up and social distancing, the second phase encouraged Oklahomans to make a vaccination plan and keep up the good work.
Once again led by real health care workers, ICG produced a fresh round of TV and radio spots. The PSAs focused on the good, giving Oklahomans a trusted voice to base their decision on. The second round also included uplifting print, outdoor, and social content that brought home the hope.
From the comment section to the kitchen table, and even the nightly news, the campaign was a success at spurring conversations and community action.
In addition to the paid media schedule, we received media value in the form of bonus spots, placements and reduced rates for PSA messaging, providing over $87K of in-kind media value.
Increased vaccination rates and decreasing COVID-19 numbers were the biggest reward. But the campaign also took home two silver Addy awards in the corporate social responsibility campaign category.