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Taming the Beast

by John Fox, Director of Content

Have you seen a slimy, mean-looking octopus lurking around your office lately? Probably not. But don’t be too shocked if you see one surfacing in practices featured in our new “Tame the beast” advertising campaign that we officially kick off today.

The octopus in question isn’t real (no marine life was injured in the making of our campaign), though we hope you think it looks real and sufficiently menacing. It’s actually the deliberate, and at least semi-rational, creation of athenahealth’s content team, our Boston-based creative agency, and the same 3-D animation wizards behind the “Spider-Man 3” movie.

Our beast, and the new campaign it serves as mascot for, is meant to embody the ever-lurking complexity and hassles and paperwork and unpaid claims and slow, costly EHRs that can wrap their tentacles around a practice and drag it down.

Early on, when we showed the imagery and concept to doctors (making sure we weren’t crazy) they were definitely startled at first glance (not a bad thing in the case of an ad meant to grab attention). But almost immediately it provoked a surprising response. They began to describe in vivid detail the “beast” of payer complexity and government mandates and ANSI 5010 and other creeping threats to their livelihoods and peace of mind.

Let’s face it. As we say it in the ad copy, running a practice is getting more complicated – and more frustrating. There are constantly changing rules, rising costs, mounting paperwork. And the reality is, buying and managing expensive software won’t make it any simpler. We think we’ve got a solution that can help “tame the beast” for practices and unleash their real potential for growth and improved care.

So, that’s why an octopus has taken over our website's homepage and will be slithering into magazines in your office and across banners on web publications. We think it’s a fun, and yes different and somewhat out there way to grab the attention of busy doctors, connect with their pains, and begin a conversation about how we think we can help.

We could be wrong, but we think it’s a campaign that’s got legs…er, tentacles.

Don’t miss this short video featuring President & CEO Jonathan Bush and “the beast.”

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