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Station Domination Builds Brand Recognition

Wellness Centers Reach Targets With Out-of-Home Media

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical


Healthcare and Pharmaceutical

In an effort to reach today’s consumers, innovative life science marketers are leveraging new advertising options using the environs of train stations, airports, and bus stops to publicize brands.

Out-of-home media is enabling advertisers to implement dramatic, cost-effective marketing strategies that go beyond traditional mass media.

These alternative, full branding advertising applications, which reach a targeted captive audience, are similar to retail, in-store advertising and include, graphics on counter and desk areas; imaginative P-O-P displays; wall graphics and murals; two-way window graphics; and graphic advertising on floors, indoor carpets, and outdoor walkways.

Alternative media is defined as advertising media that does not fit into what are considered standard categories of mass broadcast and print media - in other words traditional media. Life science firms, including healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, are dramatically increasing their reliance on non-traditional advertising to help reach their target audiences in places where they can more easily stand out from the crowd. Wellness centers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies are moving to alternative media, including out-of-home varieties, and product branding solutions to convey their messages.

Finding a Provider

Finding a solutions provider that understands the needs of these industries and provides custom, creative ways to execute product branding and out-of-home advertising programs, is a must for life science companies and advertising agencies charged with growing a brand.

FLEXcon, a global manufacturer of self-adhesive film products for applications that brand identity, brand promotion, and outdoor and indoor advertising, has partnered with life science and advertising agencies to bring these alternative-media and full-branding campaigns to life. The FLEXcon product branding emphasis is intended to not only benefit the brand owner, but to also help advertising agencies leverage these new branding methods as part of their offerings.

Two scenarios illustrate a healthcare industry product branding and alternative media projects.

The first, AvMed Health Plans of Florida was on a mission to build brand recognition and differentiate themselves from other national healthcare plans. The second was a successful FLEXcon project involving a large health insurance provider promoting its commitment to wellness.

Capturing the attention of AvMed’s audience would be no easy task with the competing visual clutter of the city. AvMed was working with a printer and advertising agency on the campaign when FLEXcon was asked to join the project to provide consultation on self-adhesive film choices and supply the stock.

Station Domination

Placing graphics on much of the available space within high-traffic areas of a Miami-Dade Transit Station became the main focus of the project -- a true “station domination.” This gave AvMed access to thousands of audience members who might not have been exposed to the messages otherwise. The graphics were designed and produced by the printer and advertising agency on self-adhesive film products. Graphics were rescaled and resized for the most advantageous and aesthetically pleasing image for each application. Similar images were used on multiple applications for consistency and to provide repetition to enhance effectiveness.

For example, 41 columns were wrapped as a first-of-a-kind project for the Miami-Dade Transit Stations. The column graphics measured 6 feet around and 11 feet high, and were printed on FLEXcon® FLEXmark® BILBRD BWV RTS vinyl film.

Other applications in the Miami-Dade transit station included wall graphics and murals, and large circular graphic advertising on floors, including a smiley face with a 20-foot wide grin, made of printed bright yellow vinyl. The floor advertising graphic was printed on FLEXmark® white opaque base film and finished with a frosty clear FLEXmark® overlaminate. This embossed overlaminate meets anti-slip requirements, which are mandatory for this type of advertising. This campaign generated incredible buzz for AvMed and stimulated a high level of awareness for the brand.

Wellness Centers Reach Targets

Another successful project involved a large health insurance provider publicizing its commitment to wellness. This campaign focused on wellness centers and utilized many “at-retail” type tactics, such as placing messages and logos on counter areas, walls, and the floor. The look and feel of the insurance providers’ brand was applied to the campaign in the form of their logo and brand colors. Along with tips on exercising, the campaign also featured walkway advertising graphics.

Graphics on indoor carpets, floors, and outdoor walkways created a new level of brand visibility by capturing customers’ attention while evoking thoughts and perhaps decisions regarding their health. Requirements for this wellness center carpet graphic included slip resistance, an image that popped out from the graphic, and the ability to remove the graphic from the carpet after as many as 90 days. All specifications for this carpet graphic were met by FLEXcon’s graphic systems for carpets, which include FLEXmark® vinyl base film in white and a vinyl overlaminate. The overlaminating film, which is required to meet ASTM D2047 Anti-Slip Standards for floor surfaces, also helps protect the base film’s graphic from heavy foot traffic and wear and tear from abrasions, cleaning, buffers, chemicals, waxes, and solvents. Other graphic flooring options include systems for outdoor walkways and other floor surfaces, which consist of a carefully matched FLEXmark® vinyl base film, clear or white, and a choice of three vinyl overlaminates. When FLEXcon’s products are used in this “system” format, a warranty is provided. FLEXcon also indemnifies the client against accidents that are due to a defect in the material itself or a flaw in the manufacture of that material. Clean removability of the adhesive for the health insurance provider application was important both from a labor cost and appearance standpoint. Strategically positioning a message in a location with heavy foot traffic helps to leave a lasting impression in the consumer’s mind long after he or she leaves the center. These types of advertising solutions offer a multitude of opportunity for brand-owners and advertising agencies, all by utilizing the incredible print quality, image quality, and durability of self-adhesive film.

As the product branding and alternative media advertising trend continues to show results, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and their advertising agencies may increasingly rely on campaigns using these tactics to stand out and differentiate themselves. Developing relationships with a branding solution provider at the earliest stage will help insure that future projects fulfill their potential.

New Trend for Healthcare

So what does the growth in alternative media look like? In their VSS Communication Industry Forecast 2007-2011, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) found that while traditional advertising spending will continue to grow, spending on alternative advertising media such as at-retail, online/mobile, and out-of-home will grow more aggressively.

Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry companies/brands and their advertising agencies recognize a changing American lifestyle that requires new ways to capture consumers’ attention. This is leading the push towards alternative media and product branding solutions. Pharmaceutical industry spending on out-of-home advertising has steadily increased as many pharma companies have seen the eroding benefits of traditional advertising through print, television and radio. The new approach included advertising on bus shelters, phone kiosks, as well as other forms, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Americans spend twice as much time outside of their homes and workplaces today, reports PQ Media. The shift to out-ofhome advertising is due partly to a shift from traditional forms of advertising, such as television, radio, and print, and toward product branding and alternative media to improve brand differentiation and visibility.

Direct-to-consumer marketing strives to capture the attention of people who are already visiting a wellness center, being treated by a doctor, or working out at the health club, as opposed to broad tactics, such as television ads, direct mail and print advertising, which try to reach the entire population. An out-of-home advertising tactic that the healthcare industry has recently deployed includes combining the placement of graphics on as much available space as possible within mass transit stations, referred to as “station domination”. This practice delivers the advertising message to thousands of viewers who wouldn’t have been exposed to it otherwise.