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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 29, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 13
JHM Unveils a Marketing Campaign

'Awareness' ads to run in New York, Baltimore; events are planned

By Joann Rodgers
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine yesterday launched a six-month multimedia advertising and public relations campaign in New York. Designed to present the historic and celebrated institution as distinctively poised to make many of the next great advances in medical science and practice, and to bring them rapidly to patients, the campaign also will be seen in Baltimore, starting in January.

Created in conjunction with Eisner Communications and aimed substantially at opinion leaders, ads in New York will run on CBS's Face The Nation, CBS News' Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood and NBC's Meet the Press. The campaign also will be a sponsor of PBS evening programming and run ads in Forbes and The New York Times Magazine.

"This campaign is an admittedly unusual endeavor for us, but these are unusual times," says Edward D. Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "There is so much 'noise' in the marketplace about research and clinical advances that what's distinctive about Hopkins is often unclear or unrecognized. This effort, at a special moment in time, is a way to communicate directly with patients who need us and with those who want to help us to bring advances already in the pipeline to patients more quickly."

The core of the campaign comprises television and magazine ads asking readers and viewers to imagine the life-enhancing possibilities of research at Johns Hopkins and to find out more about its search for knowledge, rebuilding plans, clinical services and philanthropic opportunities.

In one TV ad, black and white images of Lou Gehrig, Lucille Ball, Ingrid Bergman, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell and Leonard Bernstein appear seamlessly in contemporary color settings. A narrator asks, "What if Lou Gehrig had played just a few more seasons? How much longer could we cheer? What if Louis Armstrong never suffered a heart attack? How much more could we dance? We're about to find out," the narrator concludes. "At Johns Hopkins, doctors and scientists are working together to discover bold new cures that will change medicine forever. Be a part of the transformation. Visit" The word "imagine" appears as a tagline, along with the Web site URL.

In addition to print and television advertising, the campaign will integrate the Web site, public relations opportunities, a film and special events in New York. Content is aligned with JHM's focus on heart disease, cancer, neurologic disease and pediatrics, as well as with plans to replace aging buildings on its 54-acre campus in East Baltimore.

"Practicing modern, safe medicine and rapidly translating the explosion of research under way at Hopkins into benefits for patients isn't about building Taj Mahals," Miller says. "It's about having state-of-the-art means of preventing infections and ensuring patient privacy. It's about having clinical facilities flexible enough to accommodate changes in delivering care as we move discoveries to the bedside, the operating rooms and procedure rooms. It's about moving discoveries into the marketplace and clinics. We've got the doctors, we've got the research, we've got the programs that are ready to transform medicine."

Miller points out that faculty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for more than a decade have reaped more National Institutes of Health grants than any other academic medical center, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been at the top of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" rankings for 14 years in a row. Nobel laureates and Lasker Award winners have dotted Johns Hopkins' research landscape for decades.

"We have one of the best-known names in medicine for good reason," notes Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. "We deliver outstanding care."

According to Joseph Bruce, executive vice president at Eisner, "Hopkins is among many fine institutions doing all they can to give people longer, healthier, more productive lives and to train the next generation of physicians and scientists who can take advantage of the genetic medicine and other innovations now being created. What's distinctively different at Hopkins is the faculty's uncommon passion for tapping each other's expertise to move knowledge forward faster, out of the lab and to the bedside. Instead of relying solely on a 'star' system, the legacy is a culture of collaboration. That's what makes Hopkins so uniquely poised to realize the full potential of the new age of discovery. And that's what this effort is all about."

Producer Marilyn Vanderpool, who is working on a brief film to be shown at the campaign's events, says, "I've never interviewed so many physicians and scientists who became emotional as they explained their determination to help their patients through their research."

In explaining one reason the idea for this ad campaign took hold, Peterson says, "It's a curious thing. Securing money for bricks and mortar is a challenge for medical centers across the nation. Most gifts are for people and programs." Large donations, in fact, often depend on the ready availability of modern facilities. "But most people don't want to give money for the aging buildings we must replace," Peterson says. "And that's part of what we hope this campaign will help people understand."

Construction to replace infrastructure on the medical campus has already begun, and the design process is under way for a new children's and women's hospital and a cardiovascular/critical care tower. A 10-year master plan calls for $1.2 billion in new construction.

Both Miller and Peterson say they recognize that advertising beyond Baltimore is likely to raise a few eyebrows along with the awareness. "This is something new for us," Miller says, "but we're doing it because we think we have an obligation to make people aware of what's at stake. We hope that once they know, they'll respond."

JHM, comprising The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has benefited from numerous large donations for "bricks and mortar" in its 115-year combined history. Among them are $20 million from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and $10 million each from the Bunting Family and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation. When he died in 1873, Johns Hopkins, a successful merchant and banker, left the bulk of his wealth — $7 million — to establish both the university and hospital that bear his name. The gift was at the time the largest of its kind. Nearly 130 years later, Sidney Kimmel's 2001 gift of $150 million to name the eponymous Comprehensive Cancer Center became the largest single gift to JHM.

Eisner Communications, a full-service, integrated communications agency headquartered in Baltimore, ranks among the top 10 independent agencies in the country today. The firm has 150 employees, and its year-end 2003 billings were $297 million. Now in its 65th year, the firm specializes in the creation and promotion of brand identity through integrated multichannel communications. Clients, in addition to JHM, include the Nature Conservancy, US Airways, Voice of America, CSX Corp. and the Washington, D.C., Convention and Tourism Corp.

To visit the Imagine campaign Web site, go to To learn more about Johns Hopkins' history and its contributions to medical science, visit JHM's Web site at


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