Imagination Has No Limits.
Septa driver Donald Peyton has always been popular with passengers and co-workers alike. Being featured prominently in an ad, on the side of the very bus he manned every day, transformed him into something of a local superstar. It was a transformation that all started back in January 2016. At home reading the newspaper early one morning, life changed in an instant for the longtime public transit employee.
Signature works with Crozer‑Keystone Health System to bring home the powerful message of health and healing.
In a flash, an explosive pain resulting from a ruptured aorta, spread through his body and chest like a lightning bolt. Quickly transported by ambulance to Crozer Chester Medical Center, the Morton, Delaware County, resident was soon in the care of one of the region’s top cardiovascular teams.
The Crozer-Keystone Cardiovascular team led by Dr. Charles M. Geller.
Septa bus in action with Donald's ad prominently displayed on back.
An eight-hour surgery, performed by Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Charles M. Geller, M.D., in which Peyton’s body was cooled down to a state of suspended animation, would be needed to save the life of the married father of four. Back behind the wheel of his bus within a matter of weeks, it wasn’t long before things began returning to normal for Donald. Or so he thought.
Unbeknownst to him, in the months following Donald’s surgery Crozer-Keystone and marketing partner, Signature Communications, had begun the early stages of creating a new marketing and advertising initiative for their renowned cardiovascular department.
More specifically, building a multifaceted campaign based around compelling patient testimonials. After hearing about Donald’s experience, we knew we had found one of those patients.
Agreeing to tell us his story, Donald, along with two other former Crozer-Keystone heart care patients, would be featured in a series of TV commercials created by Signature. But these couldn’t just be any spots. They had to resonate with viewers the way they did with us when we first heard them ourselves. They had to capture not only the raw emotion of the cardiovascular events themselves, but the depth of gratitude each felt towards the Crozer-Keystone surgeon responsible for saving their life, as well.
Then it hit us: what better way than to realize our vision than to have each person tell their amazing tale on screen, only to be surprised at the end with the off-screen arrival of the physician responsible for their survival?
“Donald’s story was so inspirational. We knew filming an unscripted reunion between he and Dr. Geller for the spot would be a powerful way to capture the raw unfiltered emotion of it all. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”
After weeks of script writing, phone interviews and carefully choreographed planning, we successfully accomplished our goal. The unscripted reactions between patient and doctor struck a deep chord with the audience, to say the least.
In support of the television spots, Signature’s creative team also produced a series of billboards, print, digital and transit ads — one of which, by a random stroke of luck, would unbelievably end up wrapped on the exterior of the very bus Donald Peyton piloted on a daily basis. It was an incredible final chapter to an already amazing tale that even drew the attention of local CBS affiliate, KYW-TV, who featured a segment on Donald on the evening news.
Today, two years removed from that fateful winter morning, and with surgery firmly in his rear-view mirror, Donald hasn’t let his newfound fame go to his head … instead, he and his healthy heart are just grateful to be back to their old routine.
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