Helping You Find Healthy

Mel Elderfield (Sauce) - 15:16 12 March 2011

Health. Some have it, some don’t. Some of us strive to achieve it, some of us take it for granted, and others ignore it all together. So how do you convince people they need to pay a premium for their health care?
This is what makes this advert so great- it is built on consumer understanding. The insight that, health means different things to different people, and it means a lot more than just being healthy. By using a variety of different situations and different characters, they are essentially saying that not only is Bupa for everyone, but that Bupa understands different needs too. The concept tying it all together is this idea of ‘find your healthy’- a concept built upon consumer individualism and relativism, the belief that health is interpreted as is relative to each person. For the cancer sufferer, they feel healthy when they get a new wig; but for the male yuppie, he feels healthy when he goes for a run.
A further factor that makes us love this advert is its positive outlook. They have opted to focus on the positives of staying healthy, and have maintained that positivity even when things do go wrong- for example by showing the physio helping a young man. So one way to interpret this approach, is that they are demonstrating their value by showing how good life can be with Bupa, even if you’re not actually ill. Another is that they are demonstrating their value by showing that they understand people as individuals. And most importantly, they are doing this in a way that engenders ‘feel good’ feelings. People are doing things, and loving life. Illness should not slow you down, and if you are healthy you should embrace that with their help. An undertone is that age should not slow you down- indeed a large percentage of their target is older generations- and this is displayed by people continuing to keep up with hobbies, interests and acting spontaneously.
One criticism may be that the approach is too simplistic and encourages the user to don their rose tinted glasses. In reality one could argue that a cancer sufferer has more to worry about than wigs, and that pensioners are probably unlikely to jump into lakes into winter (is that healthy? I think not). However, there is something inherently aspirational about this outlook on life- we all like to think of ourselves as people that embrace life and take care of ourselves, and this almost encourages us that we can. At the same time, it is a very re-assuring message, almost saying ‘you keep going, keep being healthy on your terms, and we will help you with that’.
Overall, this positive outlook is very refreshing. It’s an advert that makes you smile, is fun, is aspirational and re-assuring; but all without ever being too light-hearted. It is built on deep consumer insight and understanding, and treats people as individuals. Finally, I feel it reflects the brand personality nicely; indeed Bupa is a premium brand that prides itself on taking excellent care of people, and this advert certainly conveys that.
I believe we will see more of this approach in the future, as people grow tired of being told what to do, tired of being homogeneously communicated to, and tired of being made to feel fearful about their health. It will be interesting to see if this comforting message translates into ROI, and if positivity really is a better way than fear when encouraging consumers to respond to a call to action.

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