Providers turn to TV and mass advertising as competition to attract customers heats up

Aged care providers across the country are ramping up public awareness campaigns as consumer choice takes hold and landmark changes in home care come into effect this month.

Aged care providers across the country are ramping up public awareness campaigns as consumer choice takes hold and landmark changes in home care come into effect this month.

From 27 February, funding for home care packages will follow the consumer, allowing them to choose and change providers as they wish, and forcing providers to rely on their reputation rather than the government regulated allocation of packages.

Many campaigns are accompanied by new branding as well as videos and imagery depicting modern, active and independent seniors, as organisations vie to improve brand recognition among this newly empowered cohort.

Queensland provider PresCare launched a 30-second television commercial this week featuring Tom, an older gentleman arranging home support ahead of a knee operation.

Tom is said to be more worried about his football club than how he will manage, while the ad stresses “we’re not aged care, we’re PresCare” finishing with the tagline: “It’s more you.”

The provider added another similarly themed video to its YouTube channel this week featuring Liz and her daughter Kate. Rather than the older person, this video targets the concerned child of an independent but ailing parent.

PresCare CEO Greg Skelton said the changing, competitive marketplace in aged care offered an opportunity for the organisation to review its brand and marketing activity.

“Our new campaign recognises the importance of people remaining independent no matter how old they are,” Mr Skelton told Australian Ageing Agenda.

It moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach and clichéd imagery this sector has been immersed in for too long, and recognises the individuality, abilities and characteristics of our ageing baby boomer generation who want control, choice and independence.”

Watch the ad here:

Southern Cross WA recently rebranded its home care service to Southern Plus, putting a new focus on flexible health, wellness and lifestyle services, it also turned to television.

The launch included a 30-second television commercial targeting independent seniors, while a series of videos on its YouTube channel each promoted a different customer service value including individuality, integrity and progress.

The TV ad describes Southern Plus as the “next generation in aged care” and features six seniors talking about their achievements from fulfilling their dreams to building a house.

The ad concludes with: “You’ve never been the retiring type; you’re the independent generation. Do more things your way with in home health and wellness.”

Watch the ad here:

Early campaigners

While marketing campaigns are on rise as 27 February draws near, some organisations started raising their profile much earlier, including NSW and ACT provider BaptistCare, which launched its “YouChoose” television commercial six months ago.

The 30-second ad focuses on people as individuals and calls on potential clients to design their own home care package concluding with the message: “YouChoose from BaptistCare: care as individual as you.”

Watch the ad here:

Activity among smaller providers

But it’s not just the big aged care providers seeking brand awareness among the communities they service.

Regional provider Marco Polo Unanderra Care Services, from the Illawarra south of Sydney, launched a series of 15-second television ads two months ago featuring young people talking about their wishes for aged care when they’re older.

Each video promotes a different wish and service value and concludes with a variety of taglines such as “it’s always your choice” and “we help you live your life”.

Watch one of the ads here:

Addressing the burden of choice

Television is not the only medium that aged care organisations are using to build their brand in an increasingly competitive market.

Sydney provider CCNB launched a bus stop advertising campaign this week in its relatively small service region.

CCNB’s bus stop advertising campaign

Campaign posters targeting the adult children of those needing support are promoting CCNB’s aged care services in 31 bus shelters along bus routes in its Northern Beaches service area.

Using the tagline “getting help is easy” CCNB encourages children supporting a parent to continue living in their own home to call for free advice, and pitches itself as “a local, trusted, community service.”

CCNB offers care advice and care coordination and does not provide direct services.

The provider is aiming to be the go-to service for people unsure about exercising their choice, said Gary Jacobson, CCNB’s interim CEO.

He said the challenge in these reforms was not whether their business was ready, but whether customers were ready.

“The needs of older people and their families will not change after 27 February. How the system meets those needs will change,” Mr Jacobson told AAA.

He said the rhetoric of choice would add significant burden to people at their point of need.

“There is an obvious and massive investment in marketing and promotion to sell the offer. CCNB believes there is a real role for independent care advice and care coordination in this fundamental shift in aged care. CCNB’s sell is the value of independence and impartiality.”

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Tags: baptistcare, brand-awareness, ccnb, gary-jacobson, Greg Skelton, home-care-packages, marco-polo-unanderra-care-services, marketing, operational, prescare, southern-cross-care-wa, southern-plus,

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