The Drum Awards Festival - Search

-d -h -min -sec

Advertising Healthcare Creative

North Memorial Health pokes fun at online self diagnosis in new spot


By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

February 20, 2018 | 3 min read

The internet has become the first source of healthcare information for many people, but self-diagnosis can lead to plenty of misinformation, as a spot for North Memorial Health humorously shows.

North Memorial Health spot

North Memorial Health spot pokes fun at self diagnosis

The Minnesota-based healthcare provider enlisted agency BrandFire to compile some of the stranger ailments people think they have after they’ve Googled their symptoms. The spot, titled ‘Symptoms,’ features people discussing the seemingly frightening results with a North Memorial Health doctor who reassures them that their symptoms are not as scary as the internet has led them to believe. One man is convinced he has scurvy, another bubonic plague while another is convinced he has “Himalayan Mountain Syndrome.”

The commercial explains that, “Searching your symptoms online is scary but our doctors aren’t.” It’s meant to show that trusting a doctor is a lot more reassuring than taking a stab at internet diagnosis.

“Because healthcare is changing so dramatically right now, we felt our brand needed to reflect the new way that North Memorial Health presents itself to our patients, or as we call them, customers,” said Dr. Kevin Croston, chief executive officer of North Memorial Health. “When we rebranded, we knew we needed more than just a logo. BrandFire came to us with a bit of an edge and something different that brought our point of view to life in a real, relatable way. Healthcare is a sea of sameness and we felt like we needed to poke the industry and poke ourselves.”

Croston continued stating that they know that people Google their symptoms before coming in, so they want customers to know that their care teams will take their concerns seriously and listen.

BrandFire used local talent from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to make the spot.

“In this media landscape, there is so much noise, so much media everywhere, we had to make sure that the spot really stood out from the clutter,” said Adam Padilla, co-founder of BrandFire. “We’ve found that the best way to differentiate is through humor and no one’s using humor in healthcare. Humor connects people; especially relatable humor. Most of us can relate to self-diagnosing with ‘Dr. Google’, so we use that intel to hook attention, then remind them to come in for a second opinion.”

North Memorial Health: Symptoms by BrandFire

By North Memorial Health

Overall Rating 5/5

Vote now
Advertising Healthcare Creative

More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +