Skip to content

Ontario Nurses’ Association.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association has a mandate to represent its members through collective bargaining and labour relations. But that’s not the whole story. ONA and its members also serve as strong advocates for public health care, safeguarding the system on behalf of patients. It’s been our task to develop a new approach to ONA’s advertising, conveying their priorities and insights as forcefully as possible to drive public awareness.

View case study.

Nurses play a crucial role in almost every health-care scenario – providing direct care, answering questions, helping people navigate the complexities of the system, and serving as champions for patients’ wellbeing. As a first step, we wanted to convey these truths through a brand position that could have a longer lifespan than a single campaign.

A positioning line encapsulating Nurses’ professional knowledge and experience.

As a position and platform, “Nurses know” is equally able to carry messages that are positive or critical. It’s a key element of the ONA brand, supported through a consistent graphic language of typography, colour, and photography.

From the beginning we felt it was important for ONA’s campaigns to evoke the deep connection between nurse and patient. The initial TV and radio ads had a “nurse confidential” tone, with nurses speaking directly to the audience as a trusted listener. The campaign theme – “The Truth Hurts” – captured the seriousness of the message and served as the headline for the transit and print ads.

When an ad tells a story that’s real, people connect to its truth.

Through subsequent campaigns, we’ve introduced a narrative element that allows us to communicate important issues in the form of mini-dramas that authentically portray what it’s like to be a nurse, a patient, or a concerned family member coping with the realities of a health-care system that’s struggling to keep up with demand.

ONA’s “Nurses know” campaigns are province-wide multimedia initiatives, featuring TV, cinema, radio, transit, print, and social media ads and a dedicated website. The creative has won several awards, including a 2016 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award (Silver) in the Public Service/Advocacy category.