We’ve given smokers the red card at Milton Keynes University Hospital in an eye-catching campaign, developed with colleagues in the NHS Foundation Trust’s communications team.

It’s a simple visual but instantly associated with ‘banning’, the red card has seen smokers ‘sent off’ the hospital grounds, helping to produce a healthier work environment for staff and hospital patients and visitors alike.

The Trust wanted to build on other elements of their branding and design work in developing the campaign creative – and the red card approach had instant resonance among viewers throughout the piloting stage.

The hospital is now an entirely smoke-free site on the hospital grounds, including the entrance and car parks. Chief Executive Professor Joe Harrison said: “We are committed to creating an entirely smoke-free zone around our hospital as a positive step towards creating a healthier environment across our site. The harmful health effects of tobacco smoke are well documented and it is clear from the feedback we have received that smoking in public areas on site is something that is no longer acceptable to the majority of our patients, visitors and staff.”

The hard-hitting visual identity is supported by a softer key message – that support is available for all those wishing to give up through the local Stop Smoking Service. The campaign aim is that not only will the hospital be a more welcoming place to visit but more people will be directed to the stop smoking service and quit their habit.

The campaign, targeted at staff and the public, saw large billboard posters and smaller posters placed around the grounds as well as rectangular box sleeves placed over bollards on the pavements to repeat and reinforce the message as often as possible. This is one of our latest partnership projects with the NHS in Milton Keynes and we look forward to teaming up on more creative initiatives shortly.


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