Was that a Hackensack Meridian ad during the Super Bowl? Indeed, it was

HMH jumped at opportunity to pick up one of few local spots available during ‘Big Game’

They didn’t get Ben Affleck to star in it. Or J-Lo. Or Jon Hamm, Alicia Silverstone, Will Ferrell or any of the other dozens of celebrities that were featured in ads during the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

Here’s what Hackensack Meridian Health did get from its Super Bowl ad: A chance to highlight its award-winning health system during the most-watched TV event of the year.

That’s why the system purchased time during one of the few local spots that were available, causing a likely engaged audience in New Jersey — expecting to see ads for beer, food, cars and what not — to do a double-take.

The 30-second ad, which ran just before kickoff, was connected to Hackensack Meridian Health’s new brand campaign — “We are Ready” — which launched last June.

HMH officials said the campaign aims to reflect the organization’s readiness to help patients tackle any challenges that come their way, “today and everyday.” Using a “best minds for the best outcomes” approach, Hackensack Meridian Health feels it provides care that is “stronger than any illness.”

Since HMH serves the state of New Jersey — a state that seemingly has as many Philadelphia Eagles fans as New York Giants and Jets fans — the system felt the opportunity this year was greater than ever.

HMH officials would not disclose the cost of the ad, but Monday, they did say they felt the spot was worth buying. (And, to be clear, since it was in one of the local spots, the cost was nowhere near the report $7 million it took to get a national ad.)

ROI-NJ asked HMH a few questions about the ad buy:

ROI-NJ: Who produced the ad?

Hackensack Meridian Health: The brand message and ads that focus on Hackensack Meridian Health’s expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, cancer and pediatrics were produced in collaboration with its agency of record, Doner — a national firm that has an East Coast base in Connecticut.

The ad campaign includes radio, print, out-of-home and digital messages.

ROI: What was the hope for the ad?

HMH: Our new ‘We’re Ready’ campaign channels the tenacious nature of our caregivers and demonstrates how providing care is the ultimate form of determination. We want our patients to feel inspired and confident, knowing that HMH has what it takes to provide exceptional care to help our patients overcome any ailment.

Filmed during patient appointments at Hackensack Meridian hospitals, the spot highlights how the health care network is changing the world of medicine with advanced innovations and procedures grounded in an ethos of grit and resilience.

ROI: What has been the reaction?

HMH: We’ve heard tremendous feedback, especially from our team members, who were excited to see HMH during the Super Bowl.

ROI: Did the fact that the Eagles were in it, guaranteeing a bigger New Jersey audience, come into play (or had it been decided before the teams were known)?

HMH: We have locked in a television message for the pregame show of the Super Bowl in the past, so, when the opportunity became available to us, we decided it would be a great way to showcase our message.

ROI: Finally, have to ask, HMH has partnerships with Eli Manning and the Giants — was it tough do something for a game featuring one of the Giants’ big rivals?

HMH: The Super Bowl is a way to celebrate the achievements of all our NFL teams. Though we sponsor the Giants, we appreciate the opportunity to congratulate the players and fans who make each football season successful.