Johnson & Johnson: Nursing its way into hearts and minds

Health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are always looking for ways to come across as warm and friendly. Of course, they could try actually being warm and friendly—in policy and in actions—but I digress.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has mastered warm and friendly, and even inspiring, for a good cause—the Campaign for Nursing’s Future.

You may have seen the commercial with “Emma,” which is the one that caught my eye.

The man in this commercial is Tom, an actual nurse. Only the patient is an actress. While this spot focuses on pediatric nursing, there are at least two similar spots focusing on emergency room nurses and hospice nurses. Each one is similarly well done.

According to J&J’s Discover Nursing website, there are over 100,000 vacant nursing positions now, and will be up to an estimated 800,000 by 2020. The campaign hopes to change that.

The funny thing is this campaign has been a yearly event since 2002. I don’t recall seeing it before, do you?

Goes to show you what effective advertising can do. These ads stand out. They catch your attention and keep it. Too bad it took them 9 years to get it right, but overall, it’s been an impressive and worthy campaign that gets better with age.

Do you notice the differences between today’s ads and those that aired in 2007?

In the 2007 spot, you hear, “Johnson & Johnson knows…” making the ad more about them than their cause. But in 2011, there’s none of that, just a subtle logo at the end. When companies are doing good deeds for the public’s sake, that’s exactly how it should be. Well done!

Their YouTube channel is also done well. In fact, they respond to comments regularly—whether positive or negative. And the nice thing is that many of the comments are from nurses—appreciative of the fact that these ads give nurses the recognition they deserve.

The only question left is does this campaign work? According to a 2007 press release, 24 percent of those who have discussed going into a nursing career said the commercials were a factor in their consideration.

Somehow, given the high number of jobless people and the impact of these new ads, I think this year’s response may be even better.


Another part to this campaign includes spotlights on nurses. One in particular that was inspiring was A Day in the Life – Laurie. It shows a woman who went to nursing school at age 45. Thought you might enjoy this story.


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