Cigna Social-Media Campaign Says Forget New Year's Resolutions

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It's well-known that old habits die hard, and so at this time of year -- when most weight-loss companies and gyms are urging people to clean up their diet and shed holiday pounds -- one company is going against the grain.

In a social media campaign that launches this week by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday, health insurer Cigna introduces the concept of the New Year's "Non-Resolution," urging its members to do away with making commitments that mean sacrificing things they love and rather, committing to preserve something that is uniquely them. In other words, it's saying: Don't change a thing.

Says the company on its Facebook page: "Who said New Year's has to be about giving something up? Think about something you never want to change about yourself -- what's already working for you, what makes you happiest." Members are then invited to then submit their non-resolution, and at the end of 2012, Cigna will send it back to see if they've stayed true to themselves.

The counterintuitive ad strategy could be a new trend as marketers struggle with new ways to stand out from the crowd.

It's a tactic reminiscent of how Patagonia sent a mailer pegged to the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush that declared in large bold letters "Don't Buy This Jacket." While other companies were advertising their Cyber Monday deals to consumers, the outdoor-apparel retailer asked consumers to "buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else."

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