OMA begins a branding campaign for Ontario’s doctors

Who: The Ontario Medical Association and Yield Branding, with Duane Crichton from Revolver Films directing.

What: A year-long brand campaign to promote the value of work done by Ontario’s doctors—to remind people that doctors can and should be trusted, and that they are real people working hard to deliver the best possible care.

When & Where: The campaign just launched, with a focus on digital video along with a 60-second spot for cinema and a radio ad.

Why (part I): There are a couple of distinct motivations underlying the campaign, according to OMA president Dr. Sohail Gandhi. Part of it is just to promote doctors—that’s what the OMA does. “We have quite a high approval rating to begin with amongst the general public,” he said. “But you can always aim for more, and I think we should aim for more.”

Why (part II): Improving the public’s understanding of doctors also has a public health benefit, said Gandhi. “I think, in an environment like we are in now, where there’s so much information available to the general population when it comes to healthcare issues… we all know that there are a lot of unfortunately fake stories about healthcare in the news,” he said. “It’s to try and ensure that we’re always in the minds of people who are looking for healthcare information, so that we can avoid some of the misinformation that’s out there.”

What kind of misinformation? The top-of-mind example for Dr. Gandhi is growing vaccine hesitancy. “There are a number of websites that promote this really unfortunate viewpoint that people will get harmed from vaccines,” he said. “The World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global healthcare in 2020.”

How: The creative includes real doctors recreating scenes of patient care while providing additional narrated context about the work they do. Aside from the 60-second ad, there are cut-downs for social and digital. “We lead you to better health,” is the tagline. There are also documentary style videos of each doctor from the ad talking about their job and why they wanted to take part in the campaign. “I want patients to think about doctors as being someone that is on their team,” says one. “It shows us as caring, compassionate individuals who are trying to better the lives of our patients, trying to help them live longer,” says another.  

“Authenticity was critical, so from the outset, we collaborated with doctors to make sure the creative was technically accurate,” said Yield CEO Brad Usherwood. “Then we used real doctors and captured what they deal with every day, be it life-threatening situations or routine check-ups, happy or sad moments, each showing how the doctor is there to give patients the best care possible.”

And we quote:  “It’s really important to reinforce to the general public that physicians do have your best interests at heart and we’re the trusted source of information for healthcare issues,” said Gandhi.

David Brown