The Opposite of “Serious Emergency Care” [Cartoon]


Hospital billboards and health system advertising can be a curious thing. One ad that I see driving between San Antonio and Austin is one that promises:

“Serious E.R. Care”

Or something like that. I don't have a picture of it because taking photos while driving might lead to an visit to the emergency department (safety first!).

The ad slogan, like many from hospitals, is pretty meaningless. What is “serious” care? Nobody smiles? Doesn't every hospital have a pretty serious E.R.? Does “serious” lead to better outcomes? Lower mortality? Higher patient satisfaction?

Does the ad slogan attract more patients?

That got me thinking… what would the opposite of “serious care” look like? This led to my latest cartoon collaboration with Carrie Schurman (see all of them). We apparently have two competing health systems with different philosophies in this town… Serious Health System that provides “SERIOUS' care and a Silly Health System that… well…


Do you have a better caption? Leave a comment below.

What other hospital ad slogans do you see that are silly, unproven, or meaningless?

What do you think? Scroll down to comment or share your thoughts and the post on social media. Don't want to miss a post or podcast? Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.


Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
  1. Mark Graban says

    From Twitter:

    William Hoefle ‏@AlexRogoConsult

    @MarkGraban @CarrieHowarth1 Do hospitals need to advertise?Not sure I have ever flipped through the yellow pages for the best ER.. location.

  2. Mark Graban says

    From LInkedin:

    John T Bushling:

    I’m always curious about the hospital billboards that advertise ER wait time (that changes depending upon the current ER situation) . Who is their audience? Certainly not the ambulance.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Those billboards are a great example of “data without context.” They are usually averages, not real time. And, they don’t say what that wait means. Wait to be triaged? Wait to see a doctor? What about total ER length of stay??

  3. Mark Graban says

    I managed to eat a “Serious Brunch” today – this was the sign at the Liberty Bar in San Antonio.

    It was not served by clowns :-)

    1. Carrie says

      There seems to be a serious theme in that area. I like that it’s on both floors one and two.

      1. Mark Graban says

        It would be fun to have a have a choice of serious brunch and clown brunch on those two floors.

  4. Chris says

    This is too funny. It makes me think of Patch Adams & the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. It seems that this ER disagrees with that sentiment. Then again, if the sign had read “Hilarious E.R. Care” I definitely wouldn’t want to go there…at least not as a patient. :)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.