Being healthy is being boring. This is the base camp at which most minds sit when thinking about their health.

So you want me to eat lettuce with a sauce that is preferably air-based while juicing only the finest free-range carrots. Sounds swell.


It’s a hard position for health organisations to be in. It’s not about producing a 1080p base-jumping video to excite your audience. You can’t get your message out there with hilarious replies to consumers on Facebook. You need to deliver an educational, serious, and often confronting message in the most attention-grabbing way you can.

Faced with this brief, it’s not entirely surprising that health related content marketing lags severely behind its corporate counterpart. When your industry gives you marketing lemons, it seems you make particularly sour lemonade. Add some freakin’ sugar for once, health industry.

Thankfully, some have managed to break away from the mould. Here are some approaches to health promotion that have done what every primary school teacher ever has yearned to do – deliver an educational message without boring people into firing off spitballs.

Banner Health infographics


Ah, the infographic. If there’s one sure fire way to make education cool, it’s through one of these fun and snappy suckers. And Banner Health are brilliant at them.

When you’re talking about something as complex, and often as inflammatory, as children’s sugar intake, breaking it down into easily digestible (pun count: 1) chunks of visual content is a great way to deliver the facts. Infographics are eminently shareable, meaning they’re an ideal platform to spread your wise words through social media.

They keep even the most ADHD of us interested, and are playful enough to minimise the self-righteous shit storm from parents in the comments section.

United Healthcare: We Dare You To Share

When you’re wading into the murky waters of a health awareness campaign, it’s hard to get a gauge of whether your words are hitting their mark. Why not go straight to the source, like United Healthcare, and get some direct engagement going with your audience?

We Dare You To Share is based on a super simple premise. Make just one small healthy change per month, just one insignificant adjustment in your otherwise horrible lifestyle you lazy mongrel, and share it on social media.

Prizes, over and above the fact you get to live bonus years, are offered as incentive, but the interactivity of the campaign is where the big win is. There’s quizzes, dares and the hashtag #wedareyoutoshare allows for the collection of all the great lifestyle ideas for everyone to try.

Carilion Clinic: #YESMAMM

A tight hashtag, in the right hands, can do amazing things. What do you do when you want to convey the importance of early detection of breast cancer to as broad an audience as possible, but Twitter keeps blocking your uncensored boob snaps?

You hope that one of your staff members is a certified pun master who can come up with something like #YESMAMM.

Carilion had both the golden nugget of the idea, and the means with which to make it hit. The hashtag spread like wildfire, and soon women the world over were using the hashtag to ask important questions, book in for scans, and gathering information on the subject.

#YESMAMM shows the power of hashtags to start a movement, particularly for issues with easy-pun names.

Bupa UK Short Films

Video content for healthcare is always going to be emotional. There’s no real way around it. If you want someone to act on the information you give them, you need it to hit home.

Bupa UK, through their short stories, do health promotion brilliantly. Their tooth fairy short, despite being astronomically inaccurate, struck a chord with people to the tune of one million views. But their best work is shown in “10 Glorious Seconds, a short film about Alzheimer’s shot in one of the Bupa care homes that plucks the heart strings like the great Andre Rieu’s.

Human emotion is a wily beast, but when you get it right, people listen.

So whether it be video, graphic, interactive or shareable, healthcare campaigns don’t have to be the doctor with a stick slapping a whiteboard. Like all content marketing, being creative, relatable and fun will do more than food pyramids and flow charts ever will.

Embrace these ideas and you’re well on your way to a healthy campaign. And that’s just what the doctor ordered.