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

At-Risk Salvadoran Youth Make Their Orchestral Debut At Kennedy Center

A youth symphonic orchestra and choir from a high-crime community in El Salvador made their American debut Monday with a performance at The Kennedy Center.
NPR

How Newbie Gardeners Can Safely Grow Food On Urban Land

More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, but fewer are aware of how to avoid other types of contaminants.
NPR

Panned When It First Came Out, The Clinton Logo Is Saying Something Now

The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign logo was snickered at. But it's shown versatility, morphing to include backgrounds of Iowa, New Hampshire and, on Tuesday, to support gay marriage.
NPR

Report: To Aid Combat, Russia Wages Cyberwar Against Ukraine

Cyberwarfare is a hidden world with few documented examples. In a new report, security researchers detail digital attacks against Ukraine's military and charge the Russian military as the hacker.

Leave a Comment

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