Will A Health Insurer Sponsor The Next 'Jackass' Movie? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Will A Health Insurer Sponsor The Next 'Jackass' Movie?

Play associated audio

Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.

"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.

I talked with Percelay about the challenges insurers will face in selling themselves.

"Their product is essentially the same," he said. "You cannot really differentiate one insurance company from another. But you can differentiate who has the wackiest mascot, or scenarios that are fun to watch." Essentially, Percelay says, we may soon see health insurance versions of the Geico gecko.

In particular, health insurers will have to craft a message to attract healthy, young customers. "There could be product placement of Oxford [Health Plans] within a Jackass movie," Percelay says. "So subliminally, when Steve-O is bungee jumping with a rubber band off the roof of a building, perhaps that rubber band has an Oxford logo on it." (Yes, we know it's unclear whether there will be another Jackass movie. This is a hypothetical.)

It will cost a lot of money for an insurance company to sign you up for the first time, so they'll want you to stick with them. Health plans will have to give customers a reason to stay loyal. Percelay imagines iTunes credits or a Starbucks card for paying your bill on time or staying healthy.

Indeed, the health insurance company Humana already allows its customers to earn "Vitality Bucks" that can be redeemed at the "Humana Vitality Mall." Keep your blood pressure in check, earn a digital camera!

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Second Annual Funk Parade To Take Over U Street

This weekend you can get funky on U Street with live music, a street festival and a parade, as tomorrow marks the second Funk Parade. Funk Parade organizers couldn't get a permit to march down U Street last year, but the crowd veered off V Street anyway to where co-founder Justin Rood always...
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

In California, Technology Makes "Droughtshaming" Easier Than Ever

As California's drought continues, social media and smart phone apps let just about anyone call out water waste, often very publicly.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.