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By Published on .

Dissatisfied by a 1% consumer awareness rate, the nation's largest healthcare provider, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., is spending an estimated $20 million on its first national branding campaign.

The $18 billion group breaks a humorous network TV and print campaign from the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., today. The campaign, tagged "Healthcare has never worked like this before," runs through mid-December.


Each of eight spots focuses on different services, from home healthcare to locating a hospital while on vacation. Dan Jenkins, who stars in the Broadway musical "Big," appears in the ads as an awkward journalist-type following hospital workers and others around with a camera.


In one spot, Mr. Jenkins challenges a farmer: "Say you're pregnant in Denver, who are you going to call?" The guy wryly replies: "The 6 o'clock news."

"Consumers will identify with the desire to ask questions and the humor in an intimidating area," said Lindy Richardson, senior VP-marketing.

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