A West Valley Hospital has gained new prominence - not for its good health care, but an ad that hypes that care.
The television commercial shows scores of pregnant women marching in line through the halls of a mythical hospital. Each takes a number from a machine and waits her turn in delivery. When the delivery room doors burst open, little plastic bins move through the doors on a conveyor belt.Inside each bin is a diaper-clad baby.
A voice says, "Other hospitals in Salt Lake deliver a lot more babies than Pioneer Valley . . . but at Pioneer Valley Hospital, we deliver every baby by hand."
At which point, a smiling nurse carries a newborn to its mother and gently hands it to her.
"This one television spot has caused more reaction than any single thing the hospital has ever undertaken," said Eileen Crooks, the hospital's marketing director.
Not all the comments are positive, however. Crooks said the hospital heard from one person who thought that showing pregnant women was "degrading" and that the commercial is "sexist." Another caller said the hospital had done "tactile psychological harm" to the babies by having them in plastic bins.
"I explain to the callers that the natural mothers were never more than inches away from their children and that the hospital had a nurse in attendance during the entire filming process," Crooks said. "The film makers actually had to speed up the film and use sound effects to make the babies look and sound more uncomfortable than they actually were. Once I explain, many callers seem to feel better and even laugh."
Crooks said the whole purpose of the commercial is to attract attention and to demonstrate that at Pioneer Valley "we may not deliver the most children in the valley, but those we do deliver are done with care and understanding.
"And boy, are we getting attention," Crooks stressed.
That's fine with the hospital's advertising agency, Borders, Berrin & Norrander/International.