10 Inspiring Examples of Storytelling in Healthcare Advertisements 

By | Published March 4th, 2022 | in Healthcare, Industries

10 Inspiring Examples of Storytelling in Healthcare Advertisements 

We scoured the internet and pulled what we think are ten great healthcare ads to inspire you. Across these examples, the aims and methods used vary, as do the budgets. We’re hoping this shows you that there are ways to communicate just about any healthcare message and not all of them require a huge budget. 

What we think sets these examples apart is their intentional use of storytelling techniques. In case you missed it, our blog post titled 4 Healthcare Advertisement Archetypes is a great foundation to understand the strategies being employed in these videos. 

Without further adieu, here are ten videos we hope inspire you to create a unique ad for your healthcare company.  

1. Getinge: Life Defining Moments

Getinge is a global medical technology company that supplies healthcare facilities with ventilators. With this video, they demonstrate what breath really means to us by showing us a life in moments. The plot twist at the end is that the life we’ve just witnessed is the life of a surgeon that uses Getinge’s ventilators to treat infants born prematurely, this surgeon herself was a premature infant. This video is an excellent example of using all of the powers of cinema to elicit a strong emotional response that conveys the core mission and values of your business. 

Getinge “Life Defining Moments” from BR·F on Vimeo.

2. Dana-Farber Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center Campaign: You Have Us 

This award-winning campaign conveyed a lot with a simple motto – “Right now you have cancer. But what your cancer doesn’t know is, you have us.” The campaign used captivating still photography to convey a feeling of being supported by a team and the video created for this campaign does the same, showing doctors and researchers working around the clock to support cancer patients. 

3. Lumosity Campaign: Play On

You don’t have to be a healthcare company to be advertising health. Lumosity is an app that supports brain function. But they have a simple message – this is fun. And they used an animated spot to prove it. On the surface, this doesn’t look like a story…but it is. Who is the character? It’s you! What are you lacking? A little fun in your life! This was a smart way to get people to associate mental health with fun. 

4. New York Presbyterian Hospital Campaign: Patient Stories

This series of videos from New York Presbyterian Hospital are an incredibly smart way to spice up a case study. The black and white made these vignettes feel intimate and classy. We felt like we were going on the journey with these people and the close framing of their faces helped foster empathy for the characters. 

5. Cochlear’s “Does Love Last Forever?”

At almost six minutes in length this branded content could be categorized as a short film. Cochlear (an Australian-based global hearing device company) worked with a creative agency to create a pretty spectacular ad that is, actually, a hearing test in disguise. Using creative framing and sound design, the latter part of this video could lead one to assume two different outcomes (love lost or lasting love between the onscreen couple) depending on your hearing ability. This ad went viral likely because of its innovative and bold approach, using all of the tools of cinematic storytelling. 

6. Montreal Children’s Hospital: Long Live Little Brats 

Montreal is home to a lot of children’s charities and so this hospital knew that they needed to produce an ad that would make a splash and set them apart from their competition. In this long-form ad, we see one little girl go from happy and exuberant to mellow – too mellow for any healthy child. She undergoes treatment and we watch the succession of her illness as she is treated at the children’s hospital. The ad ends with the little girl mischievously filling up water balloons in the hospital sink – she’s back, thanks to Montreal Children’s Hospital. 

Long Live Little Brats from layton on Vimeo.

7. MACMA: “Man Boobs for Boobs”

This stunt commercial is a fun way to look at the serious topic of breast cancer. The characters here have the problem that they want to show a self breast exam, but it’ll get censored. So they bring in a guy to teach us something. This is a tongue-in-cheek way to do an ad, but it has a shareable quality and is extremely low budget. You don’t have to spend a lot, you just need to have a great idea. 

8. World Health Organization: Be Active 

This advertisement functions on several different levels. It’s a case study, inspirational, and a story. It covers the need for individuals to be active in their own lives and for WHO to be active in communities. See how the mission of the company directly aligns with the mission of the people we meet in the commercial? The story aligns with what they want you to take away about them and about yourself. 

9. Kaiser Permanente: Thrive

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis, and no one really knew how to talk about it. Along comes Kaiser with a commercial that tells the story of a doctor on the front lines, but also the story of a human dealing with the worry that came with it, just like we all were at home. This example demonstrates how to connect to and empathize with people’s emotions while also sharing the message that the company has things under control and can be trusted.  

10. Bupa: Is it Normal? 

Bupa is a UK-based private healthcare insurance company that offers mental health coverage. In this polished and provocative ad, Bupa shows many different relatable mental health issues in a way that is light-hearted and optimistic – and let’s you know, to them, it’s normal. 

Is it normal? Bupa January 2020 from MullenLowe Group UK on Vimeo.

We hope these examples demonstrated the power of visual storytelling and got your creative juices flowing. Have an idea for an ad to reach your audience and tell the story of your healthcare company? Hit us up! We’re happy to talk it through with you. 

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Ambient Skies is a full service entertainment production company focused on creative storytelling for commercials, documentaries, and narratives.

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John Schaus