Healthcare has changed. Consumers have more control and are becoming more engaged in their plan choices and what’s available to them. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, consumers can now shop for insurance rather than relying on employer- and government-provided plans. But is advertising following suit? If consumers are now shopping for insurance the same way they shop for a new car, shouldn’t health insurance companies be talking to their consumers the way that other brands do?
Health insurance brands tend to err on the side of conservative marketing. We’ve all seen the typical seniors walking on a beach and smiling babies. Healthcare is serious business and people want a company they can trust. But insurers can speak directly to their audience in an interesting or even humorous way that will make them seem approachable and trustworthy.
UnitedHealthcare recently launched an integrated national campaign geared toward consumers that really stood out amongst other healthcare marketing. The campaign comically began with a commercial called “Our Song” where a couple starts dancing to their song, the wife comes in “too hot” and they end up having to utilize UnitedHealthcare’s Virtual Doctor Visits. The campaign is able to take the complicated and sometimes serious situation of needing to see a doctor right away, and makes it relatable and funny to the consumer.
Companies in other conservative industries have made the transition to more creative marketing in order to stand out from their competitors. In the insurance industry, Geico’s campaigns and Allstate’s “Mayhem” series have taken significant strides toward standing out amongst their competitors, and have become top brands in their industry as a result.
There’s no denying that the healthcare industry has changed and will continue to change in the future. In order to stay ahead of the game, health insurance brands should move their marketing in the same direction. Along with the industry transition, healthcare advertising should make a similar transition to a more consumer focused voice.