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

Health Insurer Tries a Counterintuitive Tack

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Old habits die hard, and so at a 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 by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday that launches this week, health insurer Cigna introduces the New Year's "nonresolution," urging its members to do away with making commitments that mean sacrificing things they love and, rather, make commitments to preserve something that is uniquely them. In other words: 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 invited to submit their nonresolution; at the end of 2012, Cigna will send it back to see if they've stayed true to themselves.

The counterintuitive-ad strategy could become a trend as marketers struggle to find ways to stand out.

The approach echoes Patagonia's 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, the outdoor-apparel retailer asked people to "buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else."

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