Our goal was to increase awareness around the importance and lifesaving power of an annual check-up. We wanted to drive as many Americans as possible to schedule check-ups with their primary care physicians to learn their 4 health numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI).
Heading into health insurance open-enrollment season, Cigna needed a marketing strategy that would boost its favorability, awareness and familiarity. During this period, health insurers typically focus on selling plans and product benefits—but we took a different approach. We prioritized a message that would benefit everyone's wellness—preventive care—reinforcing Cigna's role as a true partner.
Why preventive care? Surprisingly, only half of Americans get annual check-ups and, according the CDC, 100,000 lives could be saved each year if everyone got one. So we made encouraging annual check-ups our mission.
To break through the clutter, our message needed to come from relatable, influential and unexpected sources.
Cue the TV Doctors of America, a cross-generational ensemble of TV doctors from various medical shows who are teaming up with Cigna in the name of wellness. Our cast includes: Alan Alda, Patrick Dempsey, Noah Wyle, Lisa Edelstein and Donald Faison. Joining Cigna's mission, the TV Doctors leveraged their affinity, star power and long-term connection with fans to get more Americans to their primary care doctors for an annual check-up.
We launched a series of social media videos and GIFs starring our TV Doctors that gave a lighthearted and relatable spin on our "get a check-up" messaging. We wanted our audience to react to seeing some of their favorite TV Doctors back on screen and to grasp the potentially lifesaving power of getting an annual check-up. One of our social videos, "Romance," performed so well that it was turned into a TV spot.
In addition, each of our TV Doctors posted personalized messages on their social media accounts discussing the importance of annual check-ups. Their influence gave our message more weight and attracted viewers who may have not been within Cigna's typical audience.
Using the TV Doctors' influence and familiarity, Cigna's lifesaving message reached Americans in their everyday lives.
Overall, sentiment around the campaign was overwhelmingly positive. Sentiment around the brand during the campaign was 55% positive, compared with an average of 8% for our competition. This amounted to a 267% increase in positive brand sentiment from the first half of 2016.
By the end of the first three months of the campaign, there were an estimated 254MM+ social impressions. During that period, 33% of our Twitter impressions were earned as free media, compared to 5% from the first half of the year. This represents a 500% increase in the share of earned as compared to paid media.
There was a 7.07% increase in check-ups overall, along with a 3.7% increase in adult check-ups when comparing 2016 to 2015. Twitter user @Mpf4114 replied to one of our posts, "@Cigna I went and found out my cholesterol jumped. So it helped me."
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