About the client

University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust runs hospitals across the county.
For years they’ve been facing a serious problem with regard to nurses’ recruitment. National advertising wasn’t cutting through and the senior nursing team wanted to develop a Leicester-specific campaign to help fill vacancies in their hospitals.

The challenge

First we needed to understand why the national campaign that focussed on starting pay and training opportunities wasn’t effective in Leicester. Are there emotional triggers for becoming a nurse in Leicester that we could leverage? Equally, what are the barriers stopping people within the area from applying to work in Leicester, and choosing other regional hospitals instead?

The insight-led approach meant we really understood the crux of the problem and how to overcome this through our creative approach.

Eleanor Meldrum

Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS

What we did

Through focus groups with new and experienced nurses – from Leicester hospitals and those who live locally but work elsewhere – we uncovered a clear key motivator: Recognition. The feeling of being appreciated for a job well done. Put simply, the national campaign was too cold and rational. We needed messaging that would resonate on an emotional level.

The creative

The campaign – Leicester Loves Nurses/Nurses Love Leicester – clearly leverages the key insight of recognition. It allows us to talk about all the great things that working in Leicester’s hospitals offers. Plus, the campaign can flex to be about how Leicester is appreciative of nurses – from the trust enabling career development through to real people expressing their heartfelt thanks.

The work was unlike anything else I had seen for the NHS.

Eleanor Meldrum

Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS


We’re delighted to say it’s the biggest and most successful online recruitment campaign UHL has ever run, with vacancies down 22%. In late 2022, the campaign is due to launch with a new website, social media drive and PR campaign.

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How we helped

Strategy. Research. Creative Direction. Photography. Videography. Campaign planning and asset development. Social Media. Exhibitions.