Raccoons, snowboards & nailguns — a look at the latest ads

A departure from the ad samples previewed earlier, the latest campaign for Washington Healthplanfinder — including the first TV ads — takes a more dramatic approach to health care enrollment.

Amy Snow Landa at The Seattle Times describes the ads as a “darker,” based on fear of a disaster:

One of the spots shows a snowboarder hurtling down a mountain and losing control, landing with a bone-crunching thud.

The narrator tells viewers the state’s exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder, “offers new low-cost and free plans,” warning that “without one, you could go bust.”

The other ad features a snarling raccoon leaping out of a garbage can, poised to attack a woman in her own backyard.

“Washington Healthplanfinder offers financial help on new plans,” says the narrator, warning that “without one, it could bite you.”

Michael Marchand, communications director at the Washington Health Benefit Exchange explains the rationale for the new campaign to The Seattle Times:

The TV spots are meant to grab people’s attention, says Michael Marchand, communications director for the agency that operates Washington’s exchange. The goal is to motivate Washington residents – especially the uninsured – to find out how they can get coverage through Healthplanfinder.

Marchand says the two ads resonated with focus groups. A significant number of people identified with the snowboarder and said they worried about engaging in activities that could lead to serious injury, especially if they are uninsured.

The ad featuring the scary raccoon also struck a chord, according to Marchand.

“I was really surprised how many people had had encounters with raccoons,” he said.

Locally, radio ads are also making a mark.

The latest spot, featuring Public Health — Seattle & King County’s Daphne Pie, introduces King County residents to Washington Healthplanfinder. Ads will air KRIZ, KYIZ, KZIZ and KBMS.

Visit the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to view all of their current ads.

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