Using The Pratfall Effect, Effectively for Cardinal Clinic


Cardinal Clinic, a private mental health hospital located in Windsor, for over 50 years has matched the highest quality care with value for money. Charging 30% less than the competition, Cardinal Clinic needed help promoting the clinic while navigating a difficult topic - the expense of private health care. 

Approach and Strategy 

We leverage the behavioural science bias - The Pratfall Effect, the idea that a flaw can make you more authentic and therefore more appealing - in a digital campaign for Cardinal Clinic around price. 

Our idea? Instead of shying away from the expensive elephant in the room, embrace it with confidence, while being genuinely empathetic to potential patients. 

Social Creative 

Our social creative centred around the line, “We’re expensive, we hear you.” A line which, when tested against creative showcasing the percentage difference in price against competitors, both performed better and had a massive reduction in negative comments. Showing the real world effectiveness of The Pratfall Effect. 

Reaching Our Audience

Our social campaign on Meta was combined with digital executions to round out our campaign matching our quality and price message in harmony: 

  • PPC: Through brand and condition-focused keywords, we ensure Cardinal Clinic is seen by those looking for more information on mental health care 
  • Google Ads:Focused on our CQC rating and value-for-money messaging, our Display advertising balances our messaging to drive click throughs 
  • LinkedIn: Targeting GPs and health-care professionals, our LinkedIn advertising focuses on why their patients would be set up for success when receiving care at Cardinal Clinic 


The campaign to-date has bolstered Cardinal Clinic’s online presence and created more efficiency in spend, thanks to messages that resonate with our audience: 

  • Current Cost per click of £0.19 (vs. Healthcare average of £1.06)
  • CTR of 3.02% (vs. Healthcare Industry average of 0.83%) 
  • Website traffic up 45.51% since Q2 of 2022 (campaign start) 
  • Conversion rate of 4.21% (vs. 0.96% in Q4 of 2022) 
  • 3,035,015 impressions across social (1,659,344) and digital (1,375,671) to-date 

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