Two headlines. Which one would you use to kick cancer’s ass?

We’d rather see you for regular mammograms than regular chemotherapy.


One of the best cancer centers in the Mid-West.

Let’s turn the tables on cancer and have more lines like
‘I Kicked Cancer’s Ass’. Photo by kind permission of Linda Bowman who
you see above.

Both lines were presented to a marketer whose brief read: ‘the best hospital for cancer care.’

But we’re not talking famous hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic or Indiana University Hospital.

His hospital wasn’t among widely known cancer care facilities.

Still, he went for the second headline because he said, for him, it hit the nail on the head.

It encapsulated everything his hospital hoped to be.

Yes, there’s a necessity for regular mammograms, he granted, but the headline that pressed the case for that was ominous.

He said it could scare his target audience.

So he ticked a box and eagerly moved on to the next business of the day.

That was a content assignment for his hospital’s biggest revenue maker, the heart and vascular unit. That held the greatest opportunity for profitability.

This story, related at a seminar last year, points up one fact.

An important ingredient for creating effective content can be ‘worry’.

There are more than a few marketing solutions to a brief. But why skirt the fact you have a frightening subject in cancer.

The best cancer headline still sticks with me after a ridiculously long time. I’m thinking it goes back 20-odd years or so.

It might have been done by the Martin Agency.

You have cancer. Let’s start by removing that lump in your throat.

Healthcare marketers aren’t ‘Gatoraded’ on the field like a triumphant football coach. They’re not drenched in victory that way.

But maybe they should be if they can choose a headline that can save a life.