Cancer Service Line

Richard Sherman, a trio of twins, and swimming babies: What does it take to get people to pay attention to something they don't care about?

The Story
Founded in 1932, the Swedish Cancer Institute has treated far more patients than any other cancer center in Washington State. But, over the past decade, new competitors have made their presence felt. To re-assert their market leadership, SCI has moved forward with an ambitious personalized medicine program that uses DNA sequencing of a patient's cancer cells to help determine the best treatment. That's the hard part. The nearly-as-hard part was to get the story across, especially to an audience that has a knack for turning off messages that have anything to do with cancer.

The Solution
To draw attention — lots of it and in short order — to SCI's story, we first turned to the all-pro cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman. Famous, if not infamous, for his strong views, in the introductory spot Sherman turns his focus to the fight against cancer. Now, instead of issuing a warning to opposing wide receivers, Number 25 lets cancer (and SCI's audience) know that a new, more effective method of treatment is here.

In the sustaining phase of the campaign, we showed the more obvious manifestations of genetics — freckles, baldness, twins, and babies — to dramatize the power of genes, now being harnessed for more precise treatment of cancer.

The Results
The early results have been pretty amazing. In the first week of the campaign, the Richard Sherman spot snagged 70,000 views on YouTube, was covered by ESPN SportsCenter, Fox Sports, Huffington Post, Seattle PI, and the Puget Sound Business Journal. Even more remarkable are the ultra-positive things people have had to say in their own social media posts. Here's one shining example:  That's AWESOME Sherm!! My brother was a patient there until last June, and everyone there was like family to us! Thanks for supporting such a great and comforting place!! Simply awesome!