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MEMPHIS -- You may have heard a familiar voice on the airwaves lately touting Methodist Healthcare’s services. Award-winning actor and Memphian Kathy Bates lent her voice for several radio spots that Methodist produced earlier this year. The spot currently airing is about Methodist’s new partnership with The West Clinic to take cancer care in the Mid-South to the next level. Later in the year, Methodist’s hospice residence and other services will be featured. The spots are airing on stations KJMS-FM, WKQK-FM, WRBO-FM, WRVR-FM and WXMX-FM.
Bates, an ovarian cancer survivor, spoke at Methodist’ Healthcare Foundation’s Cancer Center Luncheon in 2009 and while in town, took the opportunity to visit with cancer patients to share her story and offer encouragement to them. She also got a chance to see plans for the new hospice residence that Methodist has since completed.
“I was moved when I saw the kind of care being given at Methodist,” she said. “I was inspired by the dedication of the physicians and staff. They truly embraced the miracle that is each person’s life.”
Thanks to a generous donation, a room at Methodist’s hospice residence is named for “George A. and Mary Bates Wehbi by Kathy Bates” in memory of her brother-in-law and in honor of her sister.
Donna Gordy, executive vice president with Sullivan Branding says that even though Bates never identifies herself in the radio spots, her voice is distinctive enough that people will recognize it.
“It has what we call the ‘X’ factor, which makes a special connection to the listener,” said Gordy.
“Celebrities are no doubt good at generating attention, recall and positive attitudes towards advertising provided that they are supporting a good idea and there is an explicit fit between the celebrity and the brand. In this case, it clearly was a good fit,” said Gordy. “This is her hometown and she cares about the healthcare here. She knows Methodist is devoted to its mission of providing top quality care to each patient they see. We are grateful that Kathy Bates took the time to help us share important messages with our community.”
Bates remained in California when the commercials were produced remotely with Memphis’ Studio Center.