Health & Wellness


4 Health Insurance Marketing Campaigns That Use Humor To Connect With Audiences

October 3, 2019 Sarah Cavill

health insurance

It’s that time of year again! Yes, the holidays are coming, but more importantly for the health and well-being of consumers, it’s open enrollment season. From November 1st to December 15th, consumers can enroll in a new health insurance plan. Typically, if they don’t enroll during the open enrollment period, health insurance shoppers may have to wait until next year, although there can be some variation from state to state. Of course, health insurance companies want consumers to choose their plans. In order to stand out from the crowd in an industry with 900 different companies, health insurers need marketing campaigns that are memorable. Humor seems to be a popular way for companies including Oscar, United Healthcare (UHC) and Cigna, to drive brand awareness with consumers. 

United Healthcare Sweetly Takes On The Bumbling Dad To Promote Virtual Visits

United Healthcare

The “Official Medical Code” campaign commercials from UHC are always funny — from the pole-vaulting husbands to the couple whose guests toss birdseed at their beach wedding, with predictable, seagull-specific results. UHC smartly ties the broader “Medical Code” campaign into specific initiatives, usually related to the ease of reaching a doctor or UHC information on mobile. In “Night Shift” a sleepy dad is changing his baby’s diaper, and it goes awry in a hilarious way new parents will surely relate to. Fortunately, the commercial assures the audience, UHC’s Virtual Visits feature is available to the now-awake mom who is able to access a doctor when she needs one.

Oscar Appeals To Younger Consumers With Its New Campaign

Oscar Health started in 2012 as a way to streamline health insurance and make it easier to navigate. Oscar’s largest group of users are Millennials, and the company boasts of its users’ high mobile engagement and virtual interactions with the healthcare system. Oscar’s most recent campaign is centered around being able to talk to a doctor anytime, day or night, and the print ads and other collateral are funny, sweet renderings of people (and creatures) connecting with doctors through their phones. The Oscar campaign feels young, and the ad spot is a goofy cast of characters in strange situations calling their doctors with no problem, echoing Oscar’s “Health insurance made easy” messaging.

Aetna Goes Funny And Sweet With A Spot Touting Its Wellness Program

From babies, to Millennials to seniors. Health insurance campaigns cover the gamut, and this Aetna commercial can’t help but make you feel good for the elderly sports fan who finally sees his favorite team win the big game. In the Aetna commercial, the weather is terrible and Luis (the sports fan) is clearly thrilled to be watching his team play, while a voiceover touts the Aetna Wellness Program for keeping him healthy enough to see his beloved team win the championship, and literally jump for joy. Promoting Aetna’s “You Don’t Join Us, We Join You” messaging and set to “Jump Around” by House of Pain, the spot is wonderfully charming and funny.

Cigna’s “Famous Doctors” Encourage Annual Check-Ups  

TV fans love a throwback, and it had been 40 years since they’d seen Alan Alda in scrubs when he popped up in Cigna’s original “Famous Doctors” ad promoting the importance of an annual check-up. He was joined by other beloved TV doctors Patrick Dempsey, Donald Faison, Lisa Edelstein and Noah Wyle, and later spots included Neil Patrick Harris. The Cigna commercials and Instagram stories are hilarious spoofs of the TV doctor genre, complete with serious doctor poses. Cigna attributes a 6% increase in preventive care visits, to the “Famous Doctors” campaign.

By using humor, health insurance companies are able to take a complex and serious subject and simplify it to what consumers want. Quality care, whether ongoing, annual or emergent, that is easily accessible at the time its needed. And if audiences are laughing along the way, even better.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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