New media owner, Lighthouse Advertising, today announces the launch of the first ever hospital poster advertising platform in the UK, aimed at targeting over 13.3 million consumers a year.
The company, which offers advertising space in the form of six sheet posters, has acquired the exclusive rights to promote poster campaigns on NHS premises in the UK. Lighthouse currently has sites within 42 UK-wide hospitals (which equates to around 15-20% of NHS Trusts) and with interest growing hopes to add many more hospitals to its portfolio over the coming months.
This brand new media platform gives brands a chance to engage with a hard to reach audience where:
o Messages can be conveyed to those in environments similar to GP surgeries but on a far greater scale (in terms of numbers)
o offer very long dwell time (30 minutes within hospital clinics and four hours in A&E)
o Advertising can be tailored to communicate via specific clinics (cardiology, maternity, ophthalmology, etc)
o Patients, friends and families are most concerned about health issues and looking for solutions
o The NHS deals with one million patients every 36 hours
o The NHS is the largest employer in Europe (1.3m staff)
o Interaction can be increased by supporting leaflets, product placement and sponsorship packages
o Packs are in line with the updated face of the NHS (eg UCLH, London), where more modern and spacious buildings have replaced older Victorian hospitals. This also includes the introduction of in-hospital retail outlets (WH Smiths, Boots, Costa Coffee etc.), within which Lighthouse are offering advertising space
Headed up by former hospital physician, Dr. Waq Saigol, Lighthouse has pledged to act responsibly within the hospital environment. Panels are positioned to target day patients, visitors and staff and will not be located in wards or in treatment rooms. In addition to this, Lighthouse will ensure all brands looking to utilise this media opportunity are carefully vetted: no alcohol, baby milk formula (0-6 months), tobacco or funeral directors will be permitted to advertise.
Dr Waq Saigol, Managing Director at Lighthouse comments, “When working as a doctor I became aware that although the Government Health campaigns were promoted on roadside panels, they were not being promoted in the most obvious health destination: hospitals. I realised there was a clear business opportunity, which would not only raise awareness of health messages in a targeted environment but could also generate revenue which could be ploughed back into the NHS.
He continues: “As a business Lighthouse is dedicated to expanding the opportunity for brands within hospitals but we are also acutely aware of the need to act responsibly. The brands permitted to display their messages on these sites are chosen with great care and aim to educate consumers looking for health solutions. Brands with messages that may be deemed as inappropriate or could create ad avoidance have been turned down and educational tools are being promoted as an integral element to the Lighthouse packages.”
The network’s launch partner, British Heart Foundation, began its in-hospital campaign on the 19th January 2009. Its current creative (also used in TV, Online, Print and Radio) has been placed on 78 hospital panels stretching the UK (Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Merseyside, Northumbria, Wales, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, Lincolnshire, Midlands, Hertfordshire and Greater London.)
The campaign, planned by Suneil Saraf, media manager at media agency PHD and Adam Jinks, Account Manager at out-of-home specialist Posterscope, aims to raise awareness of the services offered by British Heart Foundation. Not only is the charity engaging audiences entering and leaving the hospitals in main reception areas but has also taken advantage of the ability to target niche markets with 36 sites within Cardiology units.
Adam Jinks, Account Manager, at Posterscope adds, “This is a really exciting time for OOH – a new poster network with such targeted opportunities where consumers have such a long dwell time. It’s a perfect opportunity for appropriate health-related brands such as The British Heart Foundation to engage with and educate key audiences.”
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