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Let’s be authentic and limit our use of hypothetical patients.

If you’re like us and working in pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare marketing, you’ll be focused on creating communications with the right dose of strategy, engaging copy and visually appealing art direction.

At some point in the content creation process you’ll find yourself at the cross roads between using hypothetical patient images or finding real patients for your campaign.

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“Healthcare professionals all too often brush aside the fake happy couple on the front cover and move directly to the core clinical data supporting the claims. I don’t blame them, I would too, the facts are real.”

Phil Cranch - MD of Forte Agency

The healthcare market we service is saturated with communications featuring stock images and videos with models liberated from their woes and living life to the fullest, all thanks to the product or treatment you’re marketing. We hear this at the concept testing stage from healthcare professionals, that stock images often don’t cut it as being authentic. “That’s not the type of patient I see” is heard too frequently.

“Healthcare professionals all too often brush aside the fake happy couple on the front cover and move directly to the core clinical data supporting the claims. I don’t blame them, I would too, the facts are real.” Phil Cranch - MD of Forte Agency

So why do we continue to use the hypothetical patients to create content that’s clearly fictitious?

Specially in the health space, finding real patients and building meaningful authentic campaigns around them delivers a compelling layer of authenticity that resonate with healthcare professionals.

In this age of fake news, fictitious social media profiles and posts and unrealistic influencers, we should be looking to create brand communications that are genuine, not hypothetical. Indeed savvy brand managers are leveraging real patient stories, and as a consequence healthcare professionals are taking note rather than casting the images aside as being irrelevant.

One of the first things I learnt at ad school some 15 years ago was the importance of finding an authentic way to demonstrate a real life benefit. This in the health space rings more true today than it ever did
— Tom Dirnberger - Creative Director of Forte Agency
 
 

 Forte utilises a unique approach to building content with real patients.
We take a documentary style approach and weave in strategy and a creative idea.

‘I’ve worked with some very unique people over the years, from a HIV positive Olympic gold medalist right through to an ex-footy player with a hip replacement. This has given me a real insight into how different treatments and medical devices can change peoples lives. Every real patient-focussed campaign we produced deliver a unique and new idea.’
— Tom Dirnberger Creative Director of Forte Agency

Case Study:

Recently, Forte was approached to revitalise a 30 year-old multi-million dollar hip-replacement brand.

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After an exhaustive search we found John, a 67 year old Northern Beaches local, who had a total hip replacement 9 years ago in 2009. After completing a full day shoot, we were able to produce for our client a hero advertising campaign for their brand, a wealth of pick up shots to build on his story, with an authentic video highlighting John’s journey from broken ex-footy player to present day highly mobile ‘Bold & Beautiful’ swimmer and grandfather of eight.


To see some of these case studies and explore how
we can leverage real content for your brand feel free to…