What healthcare marketers can learn from the hit series “Breaking Bad”

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What kept you coming back to the hit series Breaking Bad? Truth be told, I spent two weeks binging on the entire series.

If you think about it, the show exhibits similar characteristics to all great brands. And it actually offers really good lessons to healthcare marketers. With consumers now empowered to choose where they go for their care (and their preventative health and wellness), astute healthcare marketers should learn from what is arguably the best TV series ever.

Why did this show succeed (like some brands do) in the face of great competition on the television landscape? While it’s hard to pin-point the one thing that kept viewers tuning in – it’s definitely a combination of a compelling character (and characters), a gripping storyline and the novelty of concept.

According to Tiffany Vogt, who is a contributing writer to The TV Addict, there are three key ingredients that must be present for any show to succeed:  hero, heart and hook.  There must be a clearly defined hero, or heroes, to root for (in this case, Walter and Jesse), a story that engages its audience (a hero who is on a personal journey and seeking to conquer a foe), and it must be entertaining enough to compel viewers to keep tuning in (the “twist” that not only draws us to the hero and his journey, but will feel the need to take him or her with us).  Without one of these key ingredients, a show will struggle and languish.

Ms. Vogt goes on to say that “television is all about commitment.”  Viewers will only tune regularly to a show that they want to make a part of their lives.  The same holds true for brands. Your customers must feel committed to your brand – as though its intertwined with their lives.

So…
• let your customers find the hero in your brand (e.g. your courage and passion to pursue new ideas and advancements), which expands their sense of possibility about living well and staying well
• let them feel the heart of your brand by engaging them through your healthcare marketing in ways that really matter
• and give them the hook that continues to surprise and delight them and keeps them coming back to your brand of care

It’s all about the magic combination of hero, heart and hook. What do you think?

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand consulting and marketing agency specializing in creating momentum for customers, brands and businesses across the related categories of health, wellness and beauty.

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