The start of November marks the beginning of open enrollment season, a time of year when people review their insurance coverage for the coming year and make critical decisions about their healthcare options.

Millions of Americans receive health insurance through their employer and though the old adage is true that ‘work is work,’ employee expectations for their health plans have risen in recent years.

The COVID-19 pandemic altered what an employer-sponsored health plan should look like and offer employees, whether that is expanded virtual care and behavioral services or access to centers of excellence.

To that end, Premera Blue Cross teamed with its longtime creative agency partner Copacino + Fujikado for a trio of 30-second ads that highlights the camaraderie among coworkers in the office.

Featuring the tagline, “They’re so much more than employees,” the commercials show employees coming to each other’s aid during difficult times in their healthcare journey. The commercials show coworkers rallying around each other after the birth of a child, during a mental health challenge and at the start of cancer treatment. 

The ads launched late last month across Washington state and the regional campaign will run across TV and digital video, supported by social and display elements throughout the open enrollment period.

Premera is running the campaign at a critical time as employers brace for higher health benefit costs in the new year, according to several industry analyses.  

However, beyond making the case from a financial perspective, the ads are intended to underscore the cultural, team-centered element of employees and their health coverage.

“The most breakthrough advertising always starts with a relatable human truth,” Andrew Gall, group creative director at Copacino + Fujikado, said in a statement. “By appealing to the emotional, relatable bonds that happen amongst coworkers, we’re confident this work will really resonate with an audience that is used to being skeptical about the wide, often repetitive world that is healthcare marketing.”

Eric Trott, VP of marketing and communications at Premera Blue Cross, added that the insurer released the ads in an effort to take a “more human approach” to differentiate itself among employers looking at coverage options for their employees.