UnitedHealthcare makes its Oscars debut

UnitedHealthcare ran three TV ad spots incorporating movies during the red carpet portion of the Oscars this year.

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is shifting its advertising strategy to align its brand with popular lifestyle events like the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl.

As part of its ongoing “Ways In” campaign developed by Leo Burnett Chicago, the health insurer ran three TV ad spots during the red carpet portion of Sunday's Oscars.

Two of UnitedHealthcare's ads were specially created for the Oscars and use ICD-9 medical codes as clues to guess movie titles.

The ads incorporate movies with some of the more than 17,000 medical codes used by healthcare providers to translate a patient's condition for insurance billing, featuring comical scenarios that lead the viewer into the healthcare system. Some of the codes include “activity involving dancing and other rhythmic movements,” “accident involving spacecraft,” and “foreign body in stomach,” to name a few.

“Our creative team realized with certain movies, you could tell the entire plot of the movie just by using three medical codes,” said Leo Burnett Chicago's Jeanie Caggiano, who led the campaign.

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“The idea of the campaign started with the thought that healthcare for the consumer is probably more complicated, confusing, and overwhelming than it already is,” explained Jeanie Caggiano, executive vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett Chicago.  “We're going to make the brand about simplifying the system for you.”

Caggiano said it was part of UnitedHealthcare's strategy this year to be more closely associated with certain events. The insurer also did a “limited Super Bowl buy” and placed ads on SuperBowl.com.

“Any time you're near an event that has more eyeballs, that tends to be a good thing,” said Caggiano.

Leo Burnett Chicago did not disclose the budget associated with the latest campaign, which launched in 2015.