A Real People Healthcare Campaign

Vanderbilt Medical Center came to us with a perception problem. Consumers recognized it as the market leader in research and innovation, but they didn’t attribute much warmth to its brand. And with Vanderbilt’s message of patient-focused care and personalized medicine, the challenge was to create a brand campaign that would make these claims believable.

  • Client: Vanderbilt Medical Center
  • Agency: Stonecastle
  • Type: Healthcare
  • Deliverable: TV Brand Campaign
  • Services: Creative Strategy, Video Production

The Project

The Project


Working closely with Vanderbilt’s marketing team, we chose to pursue a documentary-style approach that captured stories of real patients and doctors in their own words, without any voiceover or scripted lines. Believing that Vanderbilt could stand by its promise of authenticity, we set out to cast real characters to deliver that message across a series of distinct and compelling storylines.


Filming inside working hospitals is an art unto itself, especially when it comes to interviewing physicians on tight schedules. To maximize the on-camera time, our director pre-interviewed each doctor in-person to develop familiarity and learn back-stories. This step, often overlooked, is what made this emotional interview with Dr. Esther Kim possible.


[Hannah’s Hospital]


In order to provide Vanderbilt as many pieces of valuable content as possible, we expanded the commercials into a series of documentary shorts. Rather than being an after-thought, we built additional scenes into our production plan with the intent of placing them on a campaign landing page “for the rest of the story.”

The Campaign

Toward the end of the two-year campaign, we began introducing the patients’ physicians — telling the story from their point of view.


The Results

"The 'Stonecastle difference' is the ability to capture the essence of the person in a way that so clearly comes through that others are just drawn in to their story. It’s mesmerizing. That’s a talent. And it’s unique."

Jill Austin, Vanderbilt Medical Center
Jill Austin, Vanderbilt Medical Center