Campbell-Ewald's Thrive campaign for HMO Kaiser Permanente is a smashing hit by most accounts.
Over the past 18 months, snappy commercials and billboards from Kaiser Permanente's $40 million "Thrive" campaign have helped add 8.3 million members nationwide to the HMO– and pushed the typically conservative health care industry as a whole to be far more experimental in how it talks to Americans about healthcare.
In a surprising twist, Northern California's The Contra Costa Times reports that Farmers Markets are now springing up at Kaiser facilities to give patients and nearby residents access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
And Kaiser is replacing traditional vending machine fare at its hospitals with healthier snacks.
Its all part of Thrive's focus on staying healthy–and away from the doctor.
In one survey by Kaiser of 1,100 respondents, 60 percent of shoppers said they are now eating more fruits and vegetables.
By backing Thrive so forefully, Kaiser have successfully capitalized on America's concern with obesity–and our newfound interest in the food pyramid.
And the campaign is winning fans amongst the toughest audience of all, Kaiser's own employees:
"Kaiser RN, Carolyn Koestel, thought the commercials were dumb and a waste of money at first (reports the Contra Costa times). But the 18-year Kaiser employee said she changed her mind, especially after her grandchildren and their friends began reciting, "All hail broccoli" when they came over for lunch. Now, she said, she appreciates the back to basics approach."
Kaiser has also ignited a surge in interest in healthcare communications–too commonly thought of as a bit of a snoozefest.
But credit where credit is due. We discovered this "viral" campaign for Blue Cross of Minnesota on–gasp–Crispin Porter & Borgusky's site during some recent research for a new hospital client.
"Do" reminds consumers that they are surrounded by opportunities to do something healthy – like taking the stairs rather than the elevator or getting of the couch to perform the odd household chore.
Crispin's campaign does not celebrate life as strongly as Kaiser's–but clients on a tight budget will appreciate the simplicity and strong viral element of Crispin's work.
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