New Ads for the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Tell Patient Stories


By Juliana Bunim on May 18, 2012

Translating pioneering research into exceptional care for young patients and their families is the heart of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. For that reason, UCSF has launched a new consumer advertising campaign highlighting some of the thousands of children treated every year.

“Pediatrics is a major priority for UCSF, and we want to make sure we’re building awareness for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital as we prepare to open the new hospital in Mission Bay in early 2015,” said Erika Smith, director of marketing for the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. 

The premise of the campaign is “Pioneering Care for Kids,”  showcasing the groundbreaking work that makes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation, according to a ranking by U.S. News & World Report.    

“We felt the best way to tell our story was through parents talking about their children’s treatment at UCSF and how it changed their lives,” said Smith. “We know through our research that patients like to hear from other patients about their experiences because it feels more relevant to them.” 

The advertisements will run for six weeks on local television, online, print media and outdoor locations including billboards. The ads are targeted at Bay Area parents, with television emphasizing the emotional component of the stories, print offering more space for longer stories, online being so easily accessible and outdoor providing more exposure for commuters.

Filming the ads also provided a unique opportunity for parents and families to come together and share their experiences. As parents met one another they recounted what it was like to receive life threatening diagnoses for their kids, their connection to UCSF and how their lives have changed."

“The best part of the day was seeing these parents looking at their kids who are healthy and happy in recovery,” said Smith. “These amazing families feel very connected to UCSF and wanted to tell their stories.”

The theme of pioneering care was a natural fit, as doctors at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital have been pioneers for decades. They were the first in the world to successfully perform surgery on a baby still in the womb, and they also developed life-saving treatments for premature infants whose lungs aren't fully developed.

With programs designed specifically for young patients, such as a 50-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery, recreational therapy for recovering kids and 60 outreach clinics throughout Northern California, the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital offers customized services for its young patients.