That time they introduced "The World's First Blogging Hospital" to talk about healthcare infrastructure funding

Long-term, envelope-pushing digital media success comes from trying stuff, failing, then learning a lot. We do our work in the trenches of social media and have inevitably flopped with a creative experiment or two over the years. But we learn from valiant efforts gone astray.

With that in mind, if you care about changing policy conversations with great digital content, ponder this for a moment:

1. Is the best way to capitalize on the massive popularity of DIY personal vlogging to cast a very non-human scripted talking puppet to present your request for funding?

2. Is it interesting?

3. Are actual people watching this voluntarily?


(select your preferred tone)

Super gentle yet ultimately passive-aggressive email version:

Hey! Totally see what you were going for here. Certainly lots of economic issues to cover when advocating for greater funding for hospitals. Lots of potentially boring numbers and things. I mean, this is a pretty creative alternative! People like puppets. And you didn’t do one of those white board animations of a bunch of facts. So there’s that.  

Looks like you were really trying to humanize the issue by making Alberta’s Royal Alexandra Hospital into a sassy blogger named Alex. Nice! 

But, you know, they say that if you want to humanize the issue, try humans and their human stories. While I know this is a lot to think about, consider that there may really be merit to that.

Good effort! xox

Curt series of crushing texts:

Um, maybe don’t cast an anthropomorphized building.

Not relatable.

Also: zero per cent quirky. And only 1% more delightful than a pre-roll ad that's forced on me when trying to watch something on YouTube.

Wait. There's an instagram account for the puppet?

Seriously. No.



Crummy hospitals resulting from chronic, decades-long provincial underfunding mean real patients, workers and families get hurt. That’s incredibly human. Way to bury the lead with a fake vlogger with felt eyes.


Expensive, slick productions often fail at actually connecting to the reason people watch YouTube vlogs: FOR THE REAL HUMANS.