Sunday, March 23, 2014

#YourMomCares: But Is That Enough To Get You Enrolled For Health Insurance?

This week I saved a tweet that read "Celebrity mothers encourage young people to #getcovered."  I thought "celebrity mothers" would be familiar faces- celebrities that have children (e.g., Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon).  So I was a little surprised when I clicked on the video and didn't recognize the faces.  It turns out that the video features mothers of celebrities- specifically the mothers of Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Lopez.  I started out a bit skeptical, feeling like the "celebrity mothers" terms used to market the video could be misleading.

However after viewing the video several times, I think it has some positive characteristics to support the public health efforts to enroll people in a health insurance plan:

(1) Clear Audience: This video is targeted towards any "kid" over 18 years old.  Alicia Keys' mom says, "There is nothing worse for a mom than feeling that her child is not protected- no matter how old they are."

(2) Clear Focus on Qualities that Audience Members Value: No one wants to worry their parents or make them upset.  And certainly no one wants their parents to nag them over and over about something.  We value making our parents proud and happy.  Jonah Hill's mom says, "Taking care of yourself, so your mothers can sleep and have a nice life after all they've done for you, is not too much to ask in my opinion. [If you enroll] We will be so happy and so grateful and we wouldn't ask you to friend us on social media!"

(3) Humor/Engagement:  As a viewer, I could immediately relate to these moms.  They reminded me of people in my family!  They were funny, they told silly anecdotes about their celebrity kids (e.g., Jonah Hill once flooded the elementary school).  Their concern about the safety of their children made you immediately think of your own parents and how much they worry about you when you are sick, hurt, or unprotected.  These moms did a great job of engaging the audience in a short period of time.

(4) Clear Call to Action:  To me, this is the #1 most important quality in a public health video (and usually my #1 critique).  In this video, it was clear what they wanted the viewer to do: get covered, get enrolled for health insurance, and the resource to do so ( was stated both verbally and visually.  First Lady Michelle Obama tells viewers "Go to and enroll today."  The final screen includes the website, social media hashtag for more information/discussion (#YourMomCares), and the enrollment deadline (March 31st).  The viewer has all the key information needed to take action.

That said- I had a few other observations regarding the video and possible improvements:

(1) Does disabling the comment section on the YouTube video discourage conversation about the video and/or the #GetCovered initiative?  Of course the comment section is not always productive (e.g., spammers, abusive comments, etc)- but I wonder about the message sent by a disabled comment section?

(2) Is the video too long or does it wait too long to hit the topic?  The video runs 1 minute, 51 seconds but health insurance is not mentioned until 50 seconds into the video.  Jonah Hill's mom transitions into the topic by saying, "One thing we should never have to put up with is our kid not having health care."  Could they lose viewers by not getting to the point sooner?  Or was that first 50 seconds necessary to engage viewers?

(3) Does the solo focus on "Moms" vs. parents or other guardians limit the audience- or worse alienate any audience members?  I ask because the ad made me think of the recent #ThankYouMom campaign from Proctor & Gamble that ran during the Olympics.  Families are changing and it is no longer (or was it ever??) just moms taking care of children, or worrying about their children, or focusing on domestic responsibilities.  There was frustration with #ThankYouMom and I think we should keep that in mind when these types of campaigns are designed.

What Do You Think?  
I would love to hear feedback on these questions from my readers!:

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