Cigna enlisted a trio of cross-generational stars to encourage viewers to talk to doctors about stress, sleep and other emotional health matters in its new brand campaign with Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned shop McCann.
The insurer's campaign with Queen Latifah, Ted Danson and Nick Jonas follows the brand's two-year "TV Doctors of America" campaign which featured TV doctors (including Patrick Dempsey breaking character as Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd from "Grey's Anatomy") talking up the importance of an annual checkup. The new campaign — which seeks to help viewers make the connection between physical and emotional health — has moments of levity, like one in which Danson mistakenly autographs a medical history sheet he's supposed to fill out.
"How do you build on getting people aware of a checkup, take that and morph it and evolve it into something that is really more about the mental and the physical and how the two are connected? That was the spirit of how we approached the new campaign," says Stephen Cassell, Cigna's VP of global branding.
Cassell said these discussions are important given links between stress and conditions like diabetes or heart diseases, or sleep loss and depression. He says some of those conditions can be headed off in an annual checkup.
"So many people go in and they focus on what's physically wrong," Cassell says. But the company seeks to encourage people to continue going to a checkup but using it as a time to talk about how you're feeling both mentally and physically.
On the choice of the three stars, Cassell says Cigna sought to appeal to a broad audience and those that would catch the eye of different generations.
The three celebrities talk lightheartedly about their own mental health or how they try to deal with stress: Queen Latifah talks about how the stress of sitting in traffic or burning an elaborate meal can affect physical health, Jonas talks about how he mentally escapes to a "happy place" with candles, guitars and a puppy amid stressful situations and Danson keeps calm while fencing by imagining himself meditating cross-legged on a rock in the middle of water.
The new campaign breaks one week after Cigna completed its $54 billion acquisition of Express Scripts.