Olathe Health Bridges the Gap Between Perception and Reality

Olathe Health Building Sign

To do more than merely survive in this business, to be successful, it’s always good to have a mantra. Something that you repeat over and over again when you’re lost in the marketing fog. Your true north of branding. One of my favorites is stolen from a wicked smart, always sly, perpetually smiling colleague of days gone by. His mantra?

Perception is reality.

This phrase really took root with Fallon’s iconic “Perception. Reality.” campaign for Rolling Stone magazine. And if you’re going to base your career mantra off a single campaign, you could do worse. Our agency team had this as a continual reminder when we were asked to evolve the Olathe Health System brand. Here’s how it all worked out.

The Perception

To many in the community, Olathe Health System was a friendly neighborhood hospital surrounded by friendly neighborhood clinics. You could find kind, gracious docs and nurses whose primary appeal of compassion and personal attention was overshadowing their advanced technology and expertise.

Now, this is something my grandmother would call a “First Class Problem.” Meaning it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t an accurate representation of the brand. And it certainly wasn’t where the brand was going. Take the logo.

When this logo was created, it was perfect, and it was timely. Now? Well, it looked dated, out of step with the times.

Still, research showed it delivered positive connotations within the community. It was clearly time for a change. The client was ready. The brand was ready. The audience was ready—they just didn’t know it yet.

The Reality

Olathe Health System had a serious perception vs. reality gap. But that’s good. That’s where an agency can be vital. Nationally recognized care was being delivered. Revolutionary procedures were saving lives. A multi-year expansion was transforming the flagship hospital, which now offers a state-of-the-art maternity wing with a freestanding cancer center in the works. Impressive stuff. It was time to transform the brand to communicate this expertise.

The Bridge

The Walz Tetrick and Olathe Health System team needed a strategy and execution that would help connect not only the brand’s past with their present and future, but also connect two hospitals with more than 60 family and specialty care clinics, a connection the public wasn’t always making. And just as important, we needed to stimulate the emotional connection between audience and brand. We needed to show the world what they had become and why that mattered.

The Strategy

This required our own mantra, something that would keep us on course during every execution of the campaign. Our solution? “Unify, simplify, amplify.”

Unify the system under one cohesive umbrella.

Simplify the naming conventions for all hospitals, clinics, practices and services.

Amplify the promise with a new logo, tagline, graphic approach and ad campaign that spanned TV, radio, outdoor, print, social and digital media.

The New Logo

We started with the logo.

We wanted to create a more colorful, progressive look that better reflected the truly advanced care being delivered. But we also wanted to retain some elements of the longstanding design, including the “angel’s wings,” which were a perfect representation of Olathe Health’s signature caring.

We sketched.

We pulled color chips.

We hit the computer.

After a little client collaboration, we delivered the finished logo.
Olathe Health Logo
Then we went to the set and rolled cameras.

The Campaign

Then we went to the set and rolled cameras.

The new TV campaign demonstrates the impressive expertise that Olathe Health provides. Live-saving cardiac procedures. Advanced spinal surgery. And the new Birth Place, the region’s newest maternity facility (read about the grand opening). The spot sheds new light on the brand in a way that changes perceptions and builds trust.

The commercial concludes with the progressive new logo. It features bright, hopeful colors in layers and facets, representing the many levels of care delivered to a diverse and growing population

It also introduces the new name, which evolved from Olathe Health System to Olathe Health. A small but meaningful change, the shorter name focuses attention on the organization’s mission to improve the health of all people within the Olathe community.

Finally, it reveals a new tagline, “Well. Connected,” which sums up the promise of creating a healthier community through a vibrant network of experienced caregivers in advanced facilities.

More than a 30-second TV ad, this work represents a broad repositioning that demonstrates how vital Olathe Health has become. That’s a lot that to get done in 30 seconds.

Go ahead, click Play, and see how we did.

In addition to TV, we’ve rolled the brand out to a welcoming audience through print ads, digital banners, outdoor boards, social posts and radio spots. It’s been a momentous year for Olathe Health, from the unveiling of the new logo and branding to the grand opening of The Birth Place. We’re raising a few eyebrows, along with a lot of awareness, ensuring Olathe Health’s perception is completely in line with its reality.

And who wouldn’t love doing that?


From Mail Room Clerk to Senior Copywriter, Nick has brought his creative thinking to clients ranging from Pepsi to Xbox to Union Pacific. His work has been recognized by the Clios, the Obies and Communication Arts. He now works with the talented folks at Walz Tetrick while judging the American Advertising Awards and speaking at industry events.