Integrated campaign helps Cigna reposition brand

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During the past two years, Philadelphia-based Cigna has been repositioning itself as a health service company, rather than a traditional insurer. To communicate that new brand platform to its audience of human resources professionals, C-level executives and individual employees, Cigna earlier this year launched an integrated campaign. The campaign, created by ad agency Doremus, New York, focuses on the message that while the current health care system isn't perfect, Cigna is doing everything it can to improve it. “There is a negative perception around health care insurance and the system today,” said Beth Henry, VP-brand management for Cigna. “So from a creative perspective, it was important for us to say something different, and that equated to acknowledging that there's a problem out there.” “At the same time,” she added, “it's an optimistic message that says we're going to make a difference.” “It's upbeat, and that was important (for us) to convey.” The campaign, which debuted in July and will continue over several years, includes print advertising, TV spots and a Web site at Print ads have run in The Wall Street Journal; consumer magazines such as The New Yorker and Men's Health; and trade magazines such as Employee Benefit Adviser, Employee Benefit News, HR Executive and HR Magazine. Ads in HR trade publications addressed specific pain points of HR professionals, said Allison Womack, director of client services for Doremus. For example, if an employee is having trouble with the claims process, the HR professional hears about it, she said, so ads addressed how simpler claim forms help all parties involved. “The targeted print effort talked to those decision-makers about how Cigna is really making it easier for them,” she said. At the same time, Womack said, the more high-level, emotional messaging in the newspapers and consumer-focused magazines was also important in reaching the HR audience. “When you're dealing with insurance and health services more broadly, these people are making decisions on behalf of their employers and the company they're serving; but they're also the customer, and they live and experience those benefits themselves every day,” she said. “It's so important to look at business decision-makers as people, too—particularly in a category that is so personal and has so much emotion attached to it.” Pre- and post-campaign research among HR professionals revealed very positive results after just a few months, Womack said. Unaided awareness of Cigna's advertising within that audience more than doubled, she said. Also, she said, the company saw a total increase in advertising awareness of more than 50%. Research also indicated that the campaign has been effective in communicating Cigna's attributes, Henry said. “Significantly, the message was not only getting through, it was having a positive impact on perceptions,” she said. M HOW CIGNA MANAGED TO DOUBLE ITS ADVERTISING AWARENESS Objective: Cigna wanted to communicate its new brand positioning as a health service company rather than a traditional insurer. Strategy: Working with ad agency Doremus, the company launched an integrated campaign targeting human resources professionals, C-level executives and individual employees. Results: Unaided awareness of Cigna's advertising more than doubled, and the company saw a total increase in advertising awareness greater than 50%.
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