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/.

NPR

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Israel's Solar-Powered 'Trees': For Smartphones And Community

The man-made trees are designed to create a public space where people can gather and re-charge a battery — their own and their smartphone's.

Leave a Comment

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